Published On: Wed, Jan 8th, 2014

Livestock also feeling the cold

HARTINGTON — Cold temperatures can mean more work and more expense for those caring for animals.

Livestock need more food, more bedding and more attention when the temperatures are frigid, said area dairy farmer John Steffen.

Steffen owns a dairy outside of Hartington, and he said everyone has been putting in extra hours due to the cold.

His dairy cattle can eat 15-20 percent more on cold days in order to supply their bodies with enough energy to stay warm. This increase in feed alone can raise total feed costs for Steffen about one dollar per animal per day.

Younger and smaller livestock are a main concern during these times. Steffen’s dairy houses 60-70 small dairy calves in individual huts.

“These calves take a tremendous amount of care and bedding,” he said. “You really have to watch the young stock very closely.”

Colds, the flu and dehydration can set in, he added.

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