With the passing of Memorial Day, that means summer is in full swing here in Conroe. Now that temperatures will be in excess of 90 degrees for the next few months, if you haven’t already started to take this into account for your cattle, now is the time. At Conroe Feeders, we are passionate about keeping the livestock of Texas happy, and above all else, healthy. Join us in today’s post as we discuss some of the ways you can help keep the Texas summer from getting the best of your cattle.
When you invest in cattle, whether it is your family pet and source of Sunday’s brunch milk, you own a meat or dairy farm, or you have some free-range rodeo bait, the fact of the matter is, you invest quite a bit of hard-earned income on your livestock and you want to do everything to protect that investment. For the most part, cattle are pretty low-maintenance animals are Texas cattle are bred to sustain Conroe summers. That being said, there are things you can do to promote the best possible health for your cattle to ensure they live a few summers longer than without you. As their owner, you’ve taken a duty to protect them and if you take it as seriously as we do, you’ll likely already be heeding these helpful tips.
Cattle differ from your household pets in many ways, including their ability to remain out of doors, grazing or working, through most weather and climate changes. While you don’t necessarily need to take special precautions with regard to their feet the way you do your dogs, some things are similar. For instance, if you do not treat for parasites year round, summer is a non-negotiable time. With the hotter temperatures, pastures and standing water become festering breeding grounds for ill-meaning microbes.
1. Feed them well.
The most basic need of all animals is their diet. Cattle will naturally help you in optimizing their summer diet by avoiding much movement or grazing in the hottest parts of the day. The ideal meal scenario for summer heifer is a low-fiber diet fed about two hours after the peak temperature of the day. The low-fiber diet will cause less generation of heat in the digestion of the meal and feeding it after the hottest part of the day will reduce heat stress.
At Conroe Feeders, we carry a wide variety of cattle feed for various needs. Stop by and talk to our feed experts who can help you settle on the right one for the summer.
2. Provide plenty of fresh, clean water.
Grass-fed cows require much less of a pure-water intake than those who are hay-fed. However, for all cattle, the water requirements double in temperatures between 50 and 90 degrees — and even more so in the 100-plus Conroe heat. Sources of cool, fresh, clean water should be made readily available and protected.
3. Work cattle early or late.
As a summer safety tip, you and all of your working animals should follow suit on this one! Summer days can be brutal in terms of heat, and everyone is at risk of heat stress and falling prey to the sun’s rays. Do most of your heavy outdoor work in the cooler hours of the morning or after the sun is no longer a direct threat in the late afternoon or early evening. Save the indoor or less intensive manual labor for midday, and try to leave your cattle out of all mid-day work.
If you don’t have working cattle, attempt to reduce the stress and physical movement of grazing cattle during the mid-day heat. Avoid bunching your bulls in the heat and give them plenty of rest while it is hot.
4. Provide shade.
Providing shade is important to reducing the stress and heat-load of your cattle. Provide shade where you can in the form of a barn, trees, or overhead shade cloth. Provide enough shade that your cattle can all be protected without being crowded. Don’t worry about closing it in, moving shade provided by shade cloths are great because it allows the breeze and fresh air to help cool the cows.
At Conroe Feeders, the health of Conroe’s livestock is our passion. We can help provide all sorts of summer safety tips and the products that you need to keep your cattle healthy and comfortable this summer. Connect with us online or just stop by our feed shop to talk with one of our knowledgeable employees today!