Winter Weather

It's been almost as if winter has happened all in one week for us here in North Texas. We've had ice, sleet and snow on three different days! So how does this impact the ranch? Our breed of cattle can easily handle the stress of this cold weather. In addition, our herd is healthy. They began the winter with high body scores and a new full growth of hair on their hide.  The cattle graze on the fresh shoots of winter wheat that we planted in the fall.  In total we put down about 160 acres of winter grass. In addition, we put several bales of hays out in the fields during the cold. The hay is not only a food source for them but it is used as a bedding material by the new calves. A 1000 lb cow consumes about 25 lbs of dry matter a day.  The fields of winter wheat and bales of hay available to the herd reduces the stress on them of having to find available forage.  We have fresh clean water available for the cattle in our water tanks and various water containers at all times.  As a rule of thumb, water consumption is about 1 gallon per 100 pounds of body weight of a cow during the cold weather.  Lactating cows require about twice the amount of water per day as a dry cow. The weather is stressful but with plenty of food and water and a daily check on the herd by our ranch manager….the cattle at the 2S Ranch weather the storm nicely. On the positive side of things, this winter weather is definitely going to help a little bit with the severe drought that we are still experiencing.