This week’s cold snap impacts livestock as well.

The animals feed intake increases as they burn more energy trying to stay warm.

Jessica Smith is a Livestock and Feed Extension Specialist with Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Agriculture.

“Once it starts getting colder we can do things like adding a little extra grain to the diet to help provide more energy and help to keep those animals warm.”

Hay and forage quality and supplies were reduced in some areas, especially in the southern part, of the Province this year with the ongoing dry conditions.

Over the winter producers go through a lot more feed trying to maintain animal condition.

She notes that as cows go through pregnancy the nutrient requirements increase, but she also has a large calf inside of her displacing the rumen.

“You need to keep in mind that she can’t eat as much forage but you still need to be meeting her nutrient requirements as there increasing and they increase into lactation as well.  So, we just need to keep upping those nutrients to meet her requirements in those important times.”

Studies show that for every 10-degree drop below -20, the intake of feed will go up by about 30%, which can be compounded by pregnancy if you’re into a calving season at that time.

She notes producers also want to make sure there are good quality water, bedding and wind protection available for the animals as well.

 

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