How to keep your livestock warm during the upcoming cold seasons
As chilly weather sets in, farmers must prepare their properties for the upcoming winter season. While keeping you and your family warm is a given, it’s essential to remember your livestock also need to be prepared for the colder weather.
Steel Buildings – the Perfect Shelter
Cattle require access to shelters such as a shed or barn. This shelter is durable enough to keep the wind out while providing ventilation to avoid moisture build-up and allow air circulation.
Steel sheds are a great shelter to protect livestock from harsh winds and substantial rainfall and can be tailored to your property’s specific needs. As steel is a challenging and durable material, it can cater to heavy and strong animals as they move in, out and around the shelter. The longevity of steel sheds is a significant advantage as they will last a long time without the stress and hassle of constant repairs.
Before investing in a steel shed, it is important to consider the security of your farm. You can add a solid lock to ensure safety and know that there is no compromising of protection with such a strong material working against the harsh weather conditions. These shelters can also be insulated to ensure livestock are warm.
Livestock bedding is a blend of sawdust, hay or wood shavings. Bedding provides livestock with insulation from the ground and is necessary if cattle get wet by the rain, protecting them from the risk of disease. In addition, bedding aids in the preservation of body heat and mitigating the negative consequences of cold stress on maintenance energy requirements. When it comes to implementing bedding on your property, it is better to set them up sooner rather than later when extreme weather conditions are predicted.
Cattle can be exhausted if bedding is implemented late. Exhaustion will lead to loss of weight and puts the cattle at high risk of sickness and death. To ensure your cattle is comfortable, proper bedding should be maintained. The right bedding assists in the avoidance of negative impacts on cattle health and quality.
Providing Heat Sources
Heating systems can also be implemented in shelters to provide extra warmth. A homemade heating system can be made by filling a watertight, chew-proof tube with hot water and placing them in the shelter. The more common option is installing industrial heating systems, which can be under-floor heating cables that do not blow hot air and push up allergens or have exposed heat sources that can put livestock at risk. There is also the alternative of heat lamps. Still, these are often associated with higher risk potential due to them being kicked over by animals or slowly becoming covered in dust, putting the shelter at risk of a fire.
Although mud is much loved by livestock during the summer heat to keep cool, it’s not as helpful when keeping warm. Animals expend higher energy as they walk in mud, resulting in a need to eat more. When cattle get muddied, their winter coat’s insulation properties are lessened. To assist in the animal’s warmth, there is a need to keep the mud at a minimum and ensure regular movement of feeding areas. In addition, livestock standing on mud have an increased risk of developing foot rot or thrush or the transfer of parasites through the mud, making them sick. Therefore, the minimisation of mud is a critical property element that should be regularly maintained and observed.
To create a customised steel shed curated specifically for the needs of your livestock, Steel Supplies Charters Towers can help you. Keeping your livestock warm during the cold winter months doesn’t have to be a stressful task with high-quality steel products.