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From the Ground Up: Summer Heat Can Stress Cows

Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 8:32 AM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - This part of the summer usually brings us hot dry conditions and even sometimes triple-digit temperatures. While many of us have pets that we go to great lengths to protect from these conditions, ranchers must keep a close look on their cattle. Along with growing corn and cotton Dale Hoelscher operates a cow/calf operation in Robertson County.

“We have more grass this year going into the dryer season of the summer we’ve been very fortunate on that and the water and stock tanks are still holding well but like I say we still have a couple of months to go yet.”

Hoelscher says that our hot and dry summer months tend to stress cattle.

“I think it starts pulling them back. I guess they’re like we are. We don’t want to get out in it. We don’t feel like eating a whole lot in that kind of heat, so they do maybe a lot of night grazing I think or some in the day. They do drink a lot of water. It does give us worry on the stock tanks that they stay adequate that they drink plenty of water.”

Hoelscher says it’s important to keep an eye on his cows’ body condition and make sure that they can maintain their weight while nursing a calf.

“The grass does lose some of its nutrients out of it and we will either use some type of supplement between a syrup liquid feed or something, so they maintain their body. The calves will pull the cow down but when we see that happening normally, we wean the calves a little earlier than we care to so the cow can recover, and we can supplement the calves along.”

Market projections are for calf prices to be down.

“We’re going into a season when we’re going to sell cattle, we know they’re going to be a hundred dollars less than what they were last year and that’s hard to overcome.”

But his cows must be taken care of, regardless of this year’s market.

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