Oklahoma's Latest Farm
And Ranch News
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Is Your Livestock's Water Good Enough To Drink?
This week in the weekly series, "Cow Calf Corner", published electronically by Paul Beck, OSU's Dr. Rosslyn Biggs and Dr. Brianne Taylor talk about providing a safe water source for livestock.

Providing access to water can be challenging especially for operations enduring drought conditions. Water related toxicities and fatalities may be seen with greater frequency under hot and dry time periods. Warnings of toxicity often develop rapidly, and animal death may be the first clinical sign. Common water related toxicities include water deprivation, sulfates, blue-green algae, and nitrates.

Water Deprivation
The common history of water deprivation is an automatic water stops functioning or the pump at the well quits working unbeknownst to the rancher. With good intentions, the cattle are given immediate and full access to water. Unfortunately, this approach often leads to rapid imbalances in electrolytes and salt toxicosis. It is important to note that salt toxicosis in this instance is not the over consumption of salt.

Animals that have been without water have elevated sodium levels in their tissues, including the brain. When animals are given free or rapid access to water, the fluid rushes to the high levels of sodium and essentially floods the brain. Cattle rapidly show neurologic signs including incoordination, weakness, seizures, and death.

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KC Sheperd visits with Dakota Moss of Livestock Risk Services. When the pandemic hit in 2020 the cattle markets along with the rest of the world suffered. Many farmers and ranchers altered their marketing plans on crops and livestock to try and prevent a loss in the down Covid markets. This led to cattle being held months longer than planned hoping for a better market. Unfortunately for many farmers and ranchers they had no choice but to sell much heavier cattle into a down market. Resulting in a lower $/cwt price and profits lost. Sheperd and Moss discuss some alternative options for producers with the Livestock Risk Protection program.

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Reach Out To Us:
Tim West
President/General Manager
Rural Oklahoma Networks



Mike Henderson
Director of Sales


KC Sheperd
Farm Director
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network

Ron Hays
Senior Farm/Ranch Broadcaster
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network