Blog > January 2020 > Cowherd Nutrition in Winter

Cowherd Nutrition in Winter

January 13, 2020

I think the chilly winter weather is officially here. When it comes to winter feed needs, here are a few items to keep in mind for yourself or your hired help. Take time to carefully evaluate bulk feed inventory whether it be swine, cattle or any other livestock.  Your CVA feed manufacturing locations can be impacted by bad weather and this can slow down the process of making feed. Plus, road conditions play a big part in the delivery of feed. Our feed team works hard to get quality feed out as quickly as we can even during times of unfavorable weather. As a producer, we ask you to watch the weather and place orders ahead of time to keep from running short. To help you be prepared, our CVA feed team can design a winter emergency plan if needed.
Winter needs not only apply to emergency feed plans, but livestock nutrition as well. When temperatures drop, livestock’s nutritional needs go up.  Planning and providing the basic needs include a balanced diet for a specific animal’s condition, water, and shelter to keep your animals healthy and comfortable over the winter months.  Animals need to consume more in cold weather to provide extra calories for heat energy.  When the environment results in a temperature below the animal’s lower critical temperature, the animal must increase heat production to maintain a constant body temperature. To produce more heat, the animal must either receive an increase in energy from a feed ration or draw from its body stores.  A good rule of thumb is to increase the amount of feed by 1% for each degree of cold stress.

It has been well documented that most forages are low in phosphorus beginning in late summer and continue to decline into fall and winter.  Cattle are more likely to be phosphorus-deficient during winter months and early spring after they have been feed stored forages for the winter.  CVA offers a great line of products whether it be loose minerals, mineral and protein tubs, complete feeds, and supplements like liquid or cubes to help your livestock deal with the harsh Midwestern winters. Protein tubs and a 12-phosphorus mineral have been popular recommendations; however, we are now switching to a pre-calving/breeding mineral. Calving season is going to be here before we know it.

I encourage you to have our feed team at CVA help you develop a winter emergency plan.  If you have any questions, stop by or call any of our CVA feed locations. Knowing your animals’ daily consumption of feed and normal order schedule are important parts of an effective emergency plan if one would occur. Plus, as we get closer to calving, it’s a good idea to have a few bags of colostrum and milk replacer on hand as well supplementing with minerals and protein over the harsh winter months. For additional information, please contact any member of the CVA feed team.

by Brandi Salestrom
Posted: 1/13/2020 2:52:49 PM by Kristin Petersen | with 0 comments

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