Advantages of Keeping Comfortable Cattle
Livestock farmers are under both moral and regulatory obligations to take good care of all the animals living on their farm. But the benefits of keeping comfortable cattle goes far beyond avoiding costly penalties. Although this is obvious, it can be challenging to get the wheels rolling on an animal or cattle comfort strategy.
It all boils down to the protection and resources that are available to them. They need shelter and protection from extreme weather as well as access to feed and water. Has your farm put the work in to make sure you’re keeping your cattle comfortable?
How to Make your Cattle Comfortable
Keeping your livestock comfortable may be an ongoing task, but it is critical to the longevity of your farm. Some of the key issues faced by Australian cattle farmers when looking after their livestock include heat, water and shelter. These concerns are all somewhat related. Ensure you have a strategy in place for managing cattle during periods of heat. The most vulnerable animals are those who are overfed, pregnant, calves or have dark coats. Ensure there is shade and shelter accessible to the cattle and always keep their drinking water topped up. Shelterbelts grown from trees are an important barrier and source of shade on many farms. Coupling a shelterbelt in a pasture with a steel shed for extreme weather is a great recipe for comfortable cattle.
Another concern is flooding and the accompanying mud. Undulated paddocks can be an effective counter to many serious issues with weather, including by creating a runoff for excess water and providing a natural barrier to wind and cold. The effects of mud on stressed cattle can be reduced by throwing out tanbark or gravel to increase the coarseness of the ground.
Always remember to keep a close eye on your cattle. Other problems like disease, poor health and general stress are most quickly dealt with by an attentive farmer. Pregnant cattle and calves will also require extra attention.
Advantages of Happy Cattle
Once you’ve put the work into ensuring the comfort of your livestock, you can rest easy knowing that not only will they be happier, but your farm will reap the benefits as well. Consider the following when thinking of cattle:
- Reputation travels far – your farm will suffer greatly if is known to mistreat animals.
- Stressed or unhappy cattle are less likely to breed or have healthy calves.
- Pregnant cattle who haven’t properly tended to are more prone to suffer other problems, leading to increased service and work.
- Happy cows are proven to produce greater and higher quality yields – both beef and dairy included.
Recommended Cattle Handling Equipment
In addition to a productive pasture set up, it definitely helps to have the right equipment on hand. Here is a limited selection to help ensure the comfort of your herd:
- Cattle Dips – Crucial for sanitary treatment of your cattle. Keep them happy, healthy and pest free with chemical treatments in a cattle dip.
- Grids – Prevent your animals from roaming too far or into dangerous or improperly set up paddocks/areas with a cattle grid.
- Steel Cattle Yards – A well designed steel cattle yard reduces an animal’s stress. Custom designed cattle steel yards can slot right into your farm wherever you need to, while also improving worker and cattle safety.
Life as a farmer is demanding but fulfilling. Keeping Australia fed is hard work, but the advantages of keeping cattle comfortable and healthy is undeniable.
If you’re looking to learn more about any cattle handling equipment, get in touch with the team from Steel Supplies Charters Towers.