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Animals and Cold Weather

ShowBloom giving you that added edge..

The weather outside can get a bit frightful during the winter months and it can leave people wondering how animals survive in brutal sub-zero temperatures. The range of weather conditions throughout the regions of the U.S. can vary. What one showman thinks of as “cold” may be a tropical vacation to another – just ask an Iowa show family and a south Texas show family – the response will be completely different. Regardless of your own tolerance for the cold, good management practices make a big difference in caring for livestock during the cold weather months, and especially for show animals.

Here are a few tips:

Nutrition: Caloric intake is key for all animals to raise their metabolic rates and generate sufficient body heat to stay warm and to perform. Squirrels tuck away nuts, deer browse on branches, cattle graze all day long and show animals that are housed in barns, pens or runs wait to be fed by their owners. When you signed up to take care of a show animal you didn’t do so just when it was convenient for you.  You signed up to take responsibility for the project with the objective to make them perform to the highest degree and maximize their genetic potential. This includes the days when it is sunny or when it is freezing cold and the ground is covered in snow.  So do your chores regularly, regardless of the weather or temperature, feed a well balanced diet, and use the ShowBloom advantage to help reach your goals .

Water: Ask any specialist in the ag world what is the most important nutrient in an animal’s diet and the response will be:  WATER.  In general, one might think water is most important during the summer months when the temperatures are scorching hot, however it is equally as important for animals to have access to clean water and ample amounts of it during the winter months.  Plain and simple, animals need access to water, so when the tank is frozen over you are going to need to go break some ice.

Exercise: Exercise is a key component to any healthy animal regardless of time of year or weather. During the winter months animals may be housed for shelter and it is important to not to forget to maintain and exercise program, even in the cold.  Animals get stagnant and have less energy if they aren’t allowed to get out of their pen and exercise. They are like people, the better their nutrition and exercise programs are, the better they feel and energy level will be. So bundle up and make sure you get out and get your animals some exercise. 

These are just a few basic tips to help during these cold months and apply to any animal, but especially to those animals you are preparing to show. These months of the cold weather are key ones leading up to many of the major shows that exhibitors are targeting for. So when it is cold outside and you would rather not go out and feed just remember that the added effort will help hang those banners.  Use these tips and add ShowBloom to the equation and you will find success.

     

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