Cold cows? - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Cold cows?

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Cold weather cows Cold weather cows

With sub-zero temperatures, you might think it takes a toll on dairy producers. We talked with several who tell us the main obstacles they face are from equipment failure and freezing pipes. As for their animals, they say if they have shelter, food and fresh water, most dairy cows do fine.

Herdsman, Don Radtke of NTC'S Agriculture Center of Excellence says, "Dairy farmers in general make sure their cattle have shelter from the wind, clean water and food so they can produce enough energy to remain healthy and produce milk. The animals is the farmer's livelihood, he is going to do everything he can to protect that animal."

Inside the Agriculture Center of Excellence there are nearly 50 dairy cows and more than 50 calves. With temperatures so cold, they are all kept inside the barns. But, as the temperatures warm up, Radtke says some of the animals will head back outside.

Radtke says, "Cows naturally adapt better to cold than hot, humid weather. The cows like it about 40-50 degrees. We are uncomfortable at that temperature. The cows body temperatures is about 102 degrees. We are at 98 degrees. Plus, you have to consider they have a fur coat they wear all the time. Food and water are fuel that will keep them healthy in the extreme cold--along with adequate shelter."

 www.ntc.edu/centers-excellence/agriculture.

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