The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Ag

June 15, 2013

Common sense key in cattle handling

ENID, Okla. — Summer has arrived. The breeding season is under way.

Producers who are engaged in artificial insemination as a method of breeding cows and heifers need to be aware of the impact handling cattle in summertime temperatures and humidity can have on reproductive success. Research at Oklahoma State University in the 1980s found that cattle heat stressed shortly after breeding had substantially higher embryo loss than cattle  left in more favorable environments.

In those experiments, the average core body temperature of the heat-stressed cows was increased by a mere 1.6 degrees. Rough handling of excitable cattle in hot weather can further impact body temperature and therefore reproductive performance.

More recent data reported from the University of Nebraska research station found that moving yearling cattle just a small distance (2,000 feet) during mild summer temperatures (80 degrees) could change the core body temperature by as much as 1.4 degrees. This indicates body temperatures of excited, stressed cattle being worked in hotter temperatures could rise to important levels. This is where common sense enters the equation.

During hot weather, cattle should be worked before 8 a.m., if possible.  Certainly, all cattle working must be complete by about 10 a.m. While it may seem to make sense to work cattle near sundown, they may need at least six hours of night cooling before enough heat is dissipated to cool down from an extremely hot day.

Cattle that must be handled during hot weather should spend less than 30 minutes in the working facility. Dry lot pens and corrals loaded with cattle will have little, if any, air movement. Cattle will gain heat constantly while they are in these areas. Therefore, a time limit of one-half hour in the confined cattle working area should limit the heat gain and therefore the heat stress. Work efficiently, but do not create unnecessary stress by hurrying.  

Make every effort to see that cool, fresh water is available to cattle in close confined areas for any length of time. During hot weather conditions tightly confined cattle may drink more than 1 percent of their body weight per hour. Producers need to be certain water supply lines are capable of keeping up with demand if working cattle during hot weather.

Nelson is Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service ag educator for Garfield County.

1
Text Only
Ag
  • Trent Milacek web.jpg Despite poor harvest, wheat price falls

    I grew up and currently reside on our family farm southwest of Waukomis.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Master Gardener logocmyk.jpg Gardeners share their favorites

    Annuals only last one season, but they are important because of the great variety of flowers that keep the garden colorful throughout the summer.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Conservation workshop set

    The workshop will be 6 p.m. at the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Center, 316 E. Oxford.

    July 26, 2014

  • Jeff Bedwell Consider safety of forage beforehand

    Drought conditions of the past three to four years and in particular the past eight months had hay/forage inventories at critically low levels. The most recent period ranked as the third-driest period in recorded history. Not unlike the farmers and ranchers of other times of drought, ag producers now have been very resourceful to not only replace hay supplies that have dwindled but also add much-needed revenue to farm income.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Right to Farm web 1.jpg Ag industry seeks right to farm

    The emerging battle could have lasting repercussions for the nation’s food supply and for the millions of people worldwide who depend on U.S. agricultural exports. It’s also possible the right-to-farm idea could sputter as a merely symbolic gesture that carries little practical effect beyond driving up voter turnout in local elections.

    July 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • farm - Burlington FFA web.jpg Burlington students attend camp

    More than 1,600 FFA members from 289 Oklahoma FFA chapters attended one of four three and one-half day sessions from June 29-July 12.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • farm - Oklahoma's Dirty Dozen poster 150dpi_W.jpg Poster targets invasive plants

    They all have more than four letters, but they are certainly bad words in the state of Oklahoma.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • farm - Rick Nelson web.jpg Simple steps can prevent fungus infection

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Help plants survive the summer heat

    The July hot weather has arrived, and Oklahoma State University has some suggestions for helping with our gardening needs this month.

    July 12, 2014

  • farm - 4-H_W_W.jpg State 4-H honors volunteers

    A group of dedicated parents and volunteers with Oklahoma 4-H Youth Development Program gathered recently in Stillwater for learning, sharing of ideas and recognition of dedication to Oklahoma’s youth.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Facebook