Preparing livestock animals for the extreme cold

Local News

With bitter cold temperatures keeping many away from the office Wednesday, farmers with livestock have no choice but to brave the cold.

“I didn’t want to go outside, I looked at the thermometer, it was -23,” said hog farmer Ralph Roe Jr.

For fourth generation farmer Noe jr. Wednesday’s weather, well, it will never be forgotten. His hog farm in East Peoria felt more like a frozen tundra, resulting in more preparation to protect his livestock.

‘When it’s cold we give them more feed, twice as much feed as they normally would get.” Noe Jr explains, “It helps their body heat gets their body heat warmer.”

Along with wearing extra layers himself Noe Jr. brought in extra hay and nailed down tin on his hogs pens to protect them from the harsh winds.

“We make sure they have extra straw and bedding, keeping them dry,if we normally would have went through one bail in a pin, we went through two Wednesday.” Noe Jr. said.

Down the road Rebel the rodeo horse is keeping his body temperature up with his warming blanket. Owner Randi Taylor says the family has put extra shavings down and kept the water tank on to help Rebel in these frigid temps.

“If the horses ears are cold then they’re cold, so I check his ears, I check under his blanket to make sure hes not shivering,” said Taylor. She adds, “If Rebel is cold we have extra precaution as we bring him into the garage because its insulated.”

Other farmers who specialize in dairy and beef say they are especially worried about their young calves.Most producers have been covering their calves with blankets and special ear warmers to protect them from frostbite.

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