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Salute to Idaho Agriculture: Wintering animals

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Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — A white Christmas is usually a dream state of affairs, particularly subsequent to a fire curled up with a cup of cocoa.

But, for livestock, the colder climate can imply many added well being dangers.

“Colic is a big one for horses. Death from dehydration and freezing, hypothermia,” mentioned Dr. Erin Crawford of Sawtooth Equine Service.

When colder climate arrives, livestock is kind of resilient, not needing to be introduced indoors or over-cared for. But Dr. Crawford does say one step is essential when making certain your animals stay wholesome all through the winter months.

“Making sure they have an adequate amount of feed,” Dr. Crawford mentioned. “When the temperatures drop, horses and cattle require more feed to stay warm.”

“They heat from the inside out because of how they digest their food. So, it’s important they get more food in the winter than they do in the summer to stay warm.”

That meals, nevertheless, has been briefly provide this yr. Drought circumstances throughout the state have led to decreased provide of hay, which, in flip, has meant skyrocketing costs.

“Probably the biggest problem is underfeeding in certain situations,” Dr. Crawford mentioned. “The cost of hay was really high because of the drought, so that will probably be something that a lot of producers are going to face. A lot of smaller producers, maybe, didn’t get enough because the cost was so high.”

Dr. Crawford says the livestock house owners she works with have been proactive of their planning, ensuring they are going to be ready to make it via the winter with none main points.

“I know for a lot of the cattle producers they were good about making sure they had enough hay to get through the winter,” Dr. Crawford mentioned. “They were also adjusting their herd size accordingly so they didn’t have as many animals to feed through the winter.”

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