A lot has been written concerning the impacts of the freeze final month on livestock losses, however I wished to emphasise that there nonetheless could possibly be some unfavorable results seen within the weeks and months to return. The impression may be decreased by figuring out the place to look.
Below regular winter circumstances, cattle and different livestock can climate some fairly chilly and moist circumstances for brief intervals of time. A variety of components mixed in final month’s freeze to make it lethal together with the lengthy length, extraordinarily low temperatures and, after all, wind chill. It was lethal to older and thinner cattle and younger calves.
Even cattle in good situation doubtless endure results that may take weeks to get better. Nonetheless, the best impacts might haven’t been seen but. These would be the results on replica, being pregnant charges and well being.
Open cows and heifers, particularly skinny ones, might delay return to estrus on account of the stress and lack of physique situation (fats reserves) used to generate warmth in the course of the winter storm. Some had little or no situation to start. This can make breeding and calving a cycle or two longer and can have an effect on advertising and marketing selections later this 12 months.
There have been additionally quite a few abortions of near-term and short-term (lower than 60 days) pregnancies. Cows aborting the older and heavier calves will take longer to return to estrus, even when they’re in good physique situation. Those who aborted short-term pregnancies might return extra shortly to get rebred offering she is in good physique situation. In both case, a calf was misplaced no matter when the cow rebreeds.
The acute climate additionally affected bulls. Because of the severity of the storm, there could also be some impression of the freezing temperatures on semen high quality and manufacturing. If bulls had been out (or will probably be out quickly) in breeding herds, they need to be fertility-tested by your beef cattle veterinarian. They could possibly be tremendous, however once more they won’t be. As well as, some bulls had frostbitten prepuces that required fast veterinary care to take care of them as breeding bulls.
Lastly, look ahead to some herd well being points. When younger animals like calves get burdened (or are recovering from stress), they will typically contact coccidiosis.
Look ahead to bloody or black feces or scours. The opposite well being problem is inner parasitism. The immune system of your livestock might have been suppressed giving inner parasites a chance to multiply.
Look ahead to scours and anemia. For those who suspect coccidiosis or inner parasites, contact your native veterinarian for recommendation and therapy. We’re not out of the woods but.
Joe C. Paschal is a livestock specialist with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Corpus Christi. Contact him at [email protected] or 361-265-9203.