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Keeping the Cattle From Getting Too Cold

JOHNSON COUNTY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) Its cold and will only get colder, no one is debating that. But imagine how much worse it would be if you didnt have the hot chocolate waiting for you inside.

But cattle on local farms face those harsh conditions every day.

"Standing in the wind they'll lose the end of their ears. They'll lose tails, said Neal Horning, who raises cattle.

"She's just got a little drool that freezing on the bottom of her mouth. But she's chewing her cud so she's happy, said Horning.

Its not necessarily the temperatures that make the cattle unhappy, its the wind.

That means the first step is shelter from the wind and a dry place for the cattle to lay.

"They can take a lot if they can stay out of the wind, said Horning.

"If they got a dry place to sleep, they only require about half the intake they would otherwise, said Steve Swenka, who also raises cattle.

Even a patch of land protected by trees will do the trick. But being ready now means getting started before the first snowflake ever touched the ground with the right diet.

"They need a good feed to bring their body scores back up so they have the tolerance to fight this cold weather and put a bunch of fat on, said Horning.

Its part of a series of steps taken to make sure cattle make it through the winter regardless of the forecast. If its not done right, a farm could go under in just one year.

"When you're dealing with the elements or mother nature things get out of your control pretty fast sometimes but you do what you have to to save the ship, said Swenka.
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