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Out of the Wind

Planning windbreaks for cattle Kathy Parker, Freelance Contributor – TRI STATE LIVESTOCK NEWS “Anything a rancher can do to help protect livestock from winter weather is beneficial. Spending money on moveable or permanent windbreaks may be worthwhile, depending on the situation. It may be more cost effective to use windbreaks when buildings are not available for shelter and natural windbreaks are sparse. In addition, windbreaks may be constructed faster than buildings. Cattle stand cold temperatures without wind pretty well, but according to the University of Idaho’s Jim Church, a 20-mile per hour wind is equivalent to 30 degrees of cold. So if the temperature is 10 degrees with a 20-mile an hour wind, the cattle are feeling 20 below zero. It takes more feed to generate body heat. In fact, Church said for every 10 degrees decline in temperature below 30 degrees Fahrenheit due to wind chill, a cow’s energy requirement goes up 13 percent. Cold stress increases sickness, which increases vet and medicine costs. Some producers have made use of materials they already have for the windbreaks. Kristin Zemp grew up on a Wyoming ranch and now lives on an Ashland, Kansas ranch. She said some producers get creative. “Some places just pile junk cars or tires and stuff up. Looks junky, too.  Old cars and farm equipment lined

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