Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum

How are the cows in texas?


Trigger Mike

Recommended Posts

Haven't heard of any die offs. If they can survive in Montana this is probably small potatoes. Of course they would be more acclimated to the cold.

JHC

Link to post
Share on other sites

If cattle have water to drink and something to block the wind, they can do very well in low temperatures.  Their rumen, the first of the four chambers of their stomach, generates a lot of heat from microbial metabolism.  That's why you see cattle standing in a pond in the summertime; they are very uncomfortable in summer heat.

 

Here's hoping those Texas cattle get drinking water and a windbreak to stand behind.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In addition to water cattle need good pasture and preferably plenty of good hay to do well in this weather.  Windbreaks sure help out.

During these times most ranchers here have to chop ice or haul water...some have electric tank heaters

Link to post
Share on other sites

As a kid in Michigan we had to force the cows in. Subfreezing temps, subzero even, didn't seem to bother them. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

My supervisor and my manager raise cows. Neither have lost any due to the cold. Propane tank heaters and cutting ice on the ponds. 

 

The only person I have heard of loosing any cattle lost a calf that wandered out onto the ice and then broke through. Drowned after it became exhausted trying to climb back out of the water.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Trigger Mike said:

since it is near zero, seems unlikely they have water, unless the rancher has a means to heat it but that would take electricity.  

 

There are tricks to employ such as adding several tightly-closed two-liter bottles of salt water to the water trough, or covering half of the trough with a strong piece of plexiglass. This works like a greenhouse while allowing the livestock to drink out of the uncovered half.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If snow lays on a cows back they are healthy. That means the insulation is working.  Keep them fed, watered, and out of the wind. As for all mammals they do much better if they are on the ground and not standing in the snow. Ranchers clear paths with track machines and feed in the cleared areas. The feed doesn't blow away as easily either. Usually the more cattle the better they get treated.

A hobby rancher can't afford large equipment like a bigger rancher. My neighbor runs about 400 head, he's on constant watch and treats his cattle well.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

This came to mind:

Operation Haylift

 
http://nebraskastudies.org/assets/images/0805_0601train.7863e4c3.fill-260x200-c100.jpg

Snow banks as high as the train, Winter 1948-49
Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG3139-028

Just as the Nebraska economy was settling down after the war, the blizzard of 1948-49 hit. Its magnitude staggers the imagination. It was the worst blizzard in recorded history. A series of storms began in November of 1948 and continued straight through to February of 1949. The snow stopped trains, buried houses, and threatened nearly a million head of cattle. Operation Haylift was a massive, perhaps desperate, effort to save livestock.

By the fourth week in January, it was evident that some two million snowbound cattle and sheep in Nebraska and surrounding areas were in jeopardy. To feed stranded livestock, the Air Force launched Operation Hayride, better known as Operation Haylift, using C-47 and C-82 cargo planes.

 
http://nebraskastudies.org/assets/images/0805_0602cow.5a03412d.fill-260x200-c100.jpg

A cow freed from a drift on the Eldon Miller farm near Belmont, NE, 1949
Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG3139-080

http://nebraskastudies.org/assets/images/0807_0603redo.width-500.jpgFrom Lincoln, Governor Val Peterson learned that counties lacked the money and equipment to open roads. Deep snow and drifts kept cattle from getting to feed. In some cases, rural people were exhausting food and fuel supplies. The Governor declared a state of emergency in most of Nebraska. A command post for "Operation Snowbound" was set up in the basement of the Capitol building.

 

 
http://nebraskastudies.org/assets/images/0805_0604plow.18bf470b.fill-260x200-c100.jpg

Snow plow assisted by shovelers to clear train tracks, Winter 1948-49
Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG3139-027

The situation was critical. Estimates were that in 29 counties in the storm emergency area, there were over one and a half million cattle worth over 250 million dollars (over two billion in 2008 dollars). Governor Peterson got an amateur radio message from his home town of Elgin, in hard hit Antelope County:

 

"My cow is hungry as h--l. Please toss her a bale of hay when you go over."

 

 
http://nebraskastudies.org/assets/images/0805_0605ranch.5fff30f0.fill-260x200-c100.jpg

Snowbound cattle on C. H. Greenwood ranch near Whiteclay, Sheridan County, Nebraska, 1949
Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG3139-45

Even before Operation Snowbound began, local and county leaders formed emergency teams to work with military and civilian agencies in directing bulldozers, deploying amphibious vehicles called Weasels and aircraft, and assisting Operation Haylift flights.

In Blaine County, County Treasurer Dan Norris of Brewster, conducted a telephone survey to find out the need, but to contact ranchers without phones, he sought the aid of Herb Hardin, a North Platte pilot. Hardin flew over the ranches and dropped notes tied to lumps of coal, giving instructions on how to signal if they needed hay. Norris said, "We saw much trouble from the air," including seven cows lying dead near one ranch house.

 
http://nebraskastudies.org/assets/images/0805_0606dozer.2e16d0ba.fill-260x200-c100.jpg

Army and National Guard bulldozers were joined by dozers belonging to private contractors
Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG3139-151f
 
 

Sibbitt’s Cat Story tells how one rancher got through the storm.
From extras from the 2008 NET Television production, Beef State

 
http://nebraskastudies.org/assets/images/0805_0607plane.5d58f7a2.fill-260x200-c100.jpg

A Nebraska National Guard C-45 plane that dropped hay to stranded livestock during Operation Haylift
Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG3139-109

The C-47s carried a payload of 2.5 tons, the C-82s had 4.5 tons. Along with the crew on each flight was a spotter, as well as Air Force and civilian "kickers", whose job was to shove the hay out the open cargo doors of the aircraft. Kickers were kept from falling out by straps secured to a bulkhead. The spotter was a civilian familiar with the area, who guided the pilot to the ranch in need.

Volunteers arranged fifty four drops totaling about 240 tons of hay. Each of the fifty four ranchers in Garfield, Loup, and Blaine counties received from 34 to 404 bales. The Haylift program coordinated by the Chadron Junior Chamber of Commerce dropped 1,854 bales to twenty nine local ranchers.

 
http://nebraskastudies.org/assets/images/0805_0608froze.d8e6e887.fill-260x200-c100.jpg

Unable to stand on the ice, nearly 150 cattle fell and froze to death after they wandered onto a frozen lake near Ashby, Grant County, NE, 1949
Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG3139-117

Not everyone was convinced the Haylift flights were useful. The vast number of cattle needing feed rendered Haylift impractical compared with the larger amount of relief that could be supplied by ground based operations. Haylift crews tried to drop bales as close to livestock as possible, but even if it landed within a hundred yards, animals caught in ice crusted drifts might not be able to reach it. Sometimes cattle were frightened by the aircraft and bolted.

Dan Norris of Brewster, Nebraska, put Operation Haylift in proper perspective when he said, "No doubt the operation did a great deal of good in its way. It was a temporary measure, and kept cattle alive until they could be fed in the natural way."

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Capt. James H. Callahan said:

Haven't heard of any die offs. If they can survive in Montana this is probably small potatoes. Of course they would be more acclimated to the cold.

JHC

Too many for barns. They go to the coulees so they are out of the wind.

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Trigger Mike said:

since it is near zero, seems unlikely they have water, unless the rancher has a means to heat it but that would take electricity.  

Been around quite a few cattle and horse people. They WILL find a way. They'd give 'em their own water and do without.

JHC

Link to post
Share on other sites

Talked to my manager today and the big problem is that the cattle are walking out onto the ponds and breaking through the ice.

 

Good news is that Saturday will begin the warming trend and by Sunday most of this "white rain" will transform into mud.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Ours came through just fine.  I'd put out hay down in a hollow populated with big post oak timber.  It ain't like being in the barn (where the horses were), but it weren't bad.  I hauled 'em feed and water morning and night...frankly, they've gotten a bit TOO used to this treatment!  Well, it's above freezing today so this bunch is about to start hustling for themselves again!

 

"Ad"

Icy Cows_Moment.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Sedalia Dave said:

Talked to my manager today and the big problem is that the cattle are walking out onto the ponds and breaking through the ice.

 

Good news is that Saturday will begin the warming trend and by Sunday most of this "white rain" will transform into mud.

43 of my renters cows calves and a big bull were standing on the ice of my pond.  Pond is 10 feet deep in the middle.  They have to drink there, only water on the place.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.