Higher-than-expected precipitation in the weeks leading up to spring has created rather muddy pasture conditions. For cattle producers gearing up for spring calving, mud is more than just a nuisance.
Iowa State University Beef Specialist Chris Clark offers suggestions to cattle producers on managing muddy conditions. He says muddy conditions increase the risk of hypothermia, failure of passive transfer and infectious disease in newborn calves.
Calves who are born into these conditions can become chilled, leading to weakness, lethargy and suckling issues. While every operation has its own limitations to these challenges, producers should strive to calve in well-drained areas and keep cattle high and dry. Clark says to use bedding to create dry areas and layers of insulation over the wet ground. Expect to check cattle more frequently in muddy conditions.
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