Livestock Producers Urged to Prepare for Cold Snap
Animal Biosecurity and Welfare Business Partner Scott Ison said sudden drops in temperature can negatively impact livestock, however, there are several ways landholders can reduce the impacts of a cold snap.
“We all know winter can be a shock to the system for us, as well as our livestock, so it is important producers are thinking about what they can do to ease the effects on their animals,” Mr Ison said.
“If possible, landholders should move their at risk livestock to sheltered paddocks and increase their feed to meet the extra energy requirements the cold weather brings.
“When temperatures drop, livestock need more energy to stay warm, so producers should consider increasing their feeding levels by 10 to 20%, especially if there is rain and strong winds.
“Animals that are most at risk, such as freshly shorn sheep, sick animals, calving cows, lambing ewes and newly born lambs and calves, should be checked regularly while the cold conditions persist.”
Agriculture and Plant Biosecurity Business Partner Andrew Lieschke, said the cold snap is also a timely reminder for producers to think about the feed requirements they will need through winter.
“For most, winter to early spring is when the feed gap is most likely to occur, as the days are cooler and daylight is shorter, resulting in slower pasture growth,” Mr Lieschke said.
“Understanding your available pasture and animal requirements will allow producers to predict their feed gap and stay as productive as possible through winter.”
“Thinking about this now, will allow you to forward plan and make on farm management decisions early.
“Ensuring livestock maintain appropriate condition through winter is vital moving into spring lambing, calving or joining, and has a big impact on productivity.”
If you would like further advice on managing livestock during cold snaps and winter, please contact your local veterinarian, ag advisor or closest Local Land Services office by calling 1300 795 299.
For the latest weather information and warnings, visit the Bureau of Meteorology website.
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