Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Death in Cattle Part 3: Make Good Use of Water
Making good use of water is another way to help reduce the risk if heat-related death in your cattle.
Water is essential for all mammals. Yet, of the six classes of nutrients needed for cattle, which include fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, protein, minerals and water, experts say that water is the one that is most frequently overlooked.
For cattle, meeting water requirements is not all about providing fresh water to drink. Rather, feeds contain water and even the process of metabolizing certain nutrients helps to produce water. Silage and pasture grasses tend to be high moisture feeds while harvested forages such as straw and hay tend to have little water.
Despite these facts, it is important to remember that water requirements double for cattle when temperatures increase from 50 degrees Fahrenheit to 95. In addition, water needs are also influenced by weight and the physiological stage of the cattle.
Aside from being offered for drinking, water can also help to keep your cattle cool in the form of misters and fans. Of course, while this is a viable option for feedlots, it can be much more difficult to install this type of cooling method on the range. Nonetheless, offering cooling stations for your cattle can go a long way toward preventing heat-related illnesses and death.