How To Manage Your Cattle This Monsoon In 5 Easy Ways
It’s time to get ready to jump into the water and get your hands dirty in the mud pool as you paddle your own little paper boats over the little streams of water that flow alongside. Here comes the monsoon, and we are ready to savor one of the wonderful seasons. However, in some places, it is the time of joy, and for the rest, it rains cats and dogs. With the onset of the monsoon, the environment is subject to deaths such as floods and, in such case, causes serious losses to humanity, flora and fauna. Since we take preventive measures and take special care of ourselves during the rainy season, the same is needed for animals, especially livestock that roam and live in open fields, leaving them exposed to life-threatening diseases. This is the time when the temperature drops and farmers begin to assess how the changing climate would affect their livestock’s health, productivity, and efficiency. Dairy farmers begin planning and gathering the resources they would need to manage and protect their livestock. Animals require a lot of attention during this time when they need to maintain a normal body temperature against cold weather. Torrential rains affect environmental humidity to the point that the temperature drops well below the minimum temperature limit, causing stress to the animals.
This forces animals to respond in one way, for example by seeking shelter or increasing metabolic activity, which could help them maintain their body temperature with increasing cold. Therefore, this increases your dietary needs, especially quality foods that are high in energy content.
Cows in particular require feed full of essential nutrients as they consume more energy to adapt to weather conditions and maintain a balanced positive energy. If cows don’t get the quality feed supplements, they end up using the reserved energy stored in the body to generate heat and control the functioning of the body to produce high-quality milk.
Eventually, this causes the depletion of stored body fat, in the long term, causing weight loss and the attenuation of the insulating substance under the skin, exposing them to cold and stressful weather.
The condition appears worse for heifers who can have calves in such poor body condition, giving them a difficult and painful calving and the birth of weak and underweight calves.
This situation results in a calf mortality rate that leads to mothers producing less milk with a delayed heat cycle, which reduces the reproduction rate.
Apart from the impact on livestock, the heavy downpour also affects the other things. It becomes difficult to pack hay, keep livestock feed dry, and watch out for aflatoxins (poisonous carcinogens that cause liver damage and cancer). These harmful toxins decrease the quality of forages and reduce the consumption by animals outside of high contamination.
Therefore, it is necessary to keep dry feed away from rain to avoid mold, especially hay. Manure and silage should also be stored in a dry place to prevent freezing, as cows cannot consume them. Manure is likely to lose vital components, so it should be stacked and stored in a suitable place away from moisture.
To ensure that the animals maintain the desired body temperature and body weight, you must take certain steps that will help you manage your livestock during the rains and prevent your money from being spent in inappropriate places.
1. Cleanliness is the most important thing.
Animals are likely to easily contract illnesses during this season, exposing various health problems. Therefore, keeping animals clean and dry is always the first requirement that must be met. In addition, the teats of cows should also be periodically cleaned and disinfected before and after milking. This helps prevent the milk from spreading.
2. Increase the amount of food.
Animals, during this period, need more food and energy to produce heat to survive in cold weather. Feed livestock nutritious grains and seeders. In the event that only moist food is available, make sure it is not too cold or frozen. Also, build a suitable and sturdy shelter so that they are not affected by strong winds.
3. Prepare dry bedding.
Creating a shed is not enough. Making a suitable, warm bed for cows is equally important, as a damp, dirty, or dirty bedding leaves them open to health problems. Therefore, a dry sand bed is best, however availability is limited. In such situations, you can go for dry straws or animal mattresses.
4. Supply of drinking water.
The rainy season does not imply sufficient drinking water. Cows must be fed adequately with clean, potable water to avoid a reduction in feed consumption by cows. However, you need to make sure that the water you supply is not too cold or freezing temperature.
5. Drain standing water.
The accumulation of rainwater during the monsoon is obvious and frequent. But the same also provides a natural platform for the growth of harmful bacteria and diseases. Therefore, preserving a hygienic environment works well to avoid it.