Protect Your Investment - K-State's Chris Reinhardt Talks About Providing Shade for Your BullsFri, 10 Jun 2016 21:32:53 CDT
As summer temperatures begin to rise, heat stress becomes a concern for cattle producers. Chris Reinhardt, Kansas State University feedlot extension specialist, says a combination of heat, humidity, solar radiation and a lack of wind can make a tremendous amount of heat load on cattle. Bulls can especially suffer from heat stress, resulting in long-term consequences in fertility, reduced performance and overall health.
To minimize exposure, Reinhardt suggests providing ample shade for animals, preferably near the bunk.
“I’ve worked with several producers and they’ve got shade a long way from the bunk, and if cattle have to get heated up to go eat feed, they may just choose to skip a meal or two” he says. “So if we can put shade close to the bunk, cattle will snack all throughout the day.”
When it comes to shade design, Reinhardt says it really depends on the specific producer, but he does recommend spending a bit more in the beginning to avoid headaches down the road.
“If we spend a little more upfront, it will require less maintenance long term, it will last longer, it will stand up to some severe weather, things of that nature,” he says. “You can build very affordable shades, which provide essentially the same shade benefit, using shade cloth and some other materials; unfortunately, they’re not as robust and will not stand up to some of our severe weather.”
Listen to Reinhardt talk more about the importance of shade this summer during the latest Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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