Farmers working longer hours to keep animals healthy during cold - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Farmers working longer hours to keep animals healthy during cold, winter months

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COATSBURG, Ill. (WGEM) -

We all know how important it is to stay bundled up during harsh winter weather, but it's also crucial for farm animals.

Farmers said it's namely a problem for livestock when the weather fluctuates from one extreme to the other.

"Just like humans if you go in and out. You go out into the cold and come into a warm house and you do that back and fourth. Typically it creates more problems for like respiratory issues, pneumonia and other things that can affect them," farmer Mike Tenhouse. 

Farmer Ben Hesse said he works longer hours during the winter to ensure his cattle stay healthy in colder temperatures.

Hesse said the best way to do that is to make sure his cattle are well fed.

"Just like humans in the winter it takes a little more food, a little more energy to keep going and cattle if you keep their energy up it will help on the reproductive process on the calves and energy also wards off the sickness," said Hesse.

Hesse said the colder temperatures can be especially harsh on the young.

"With the cold weather and wind if you are calving, wind chill can be hard on a newborn calf coming out of a normal body temperature of zero," said Hesse.

Tenhouse said the harsh winter elements can cause cattle the most trouble, but they have been lucky this year with a relatively mild winter so far.

"Dampness, snow and ice. When they get wet. When their backs get wet. When they get windy. That's when they really suffer I think and get cold. We haven't had so much of that yet," said Tenhouse.

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