Skip to Content

OSU Expert: Extra Feed for Livestock in Cold Weather Recommended

Growing Georgia posted a recent article from an Ohio State University expert discussing the extra nutritional needs of cattle and other livestock in colder weather.  While we don’t have as frigid weather as other parts of the US here in the Southeast, it is still good to be reminded of ways to keep our animals happy and healthy.  You can find the article here.  I found the discussion of lower critical temperature  (LCT) particularly interesting because it relates the weather directly to animal well-being.  Here are some LCTs for animals in various conditions:

“The lower critical temperature for beef cattle, dependent upon the development of the hair coat, is:

* Summer or wet: 59 degrees

* Fall: 45 degrees

* Winter average hair coat: 32 degrees

* Winter heavy hair coat: 18 degrees

The lower critical temperature for goats is generally considered to be 32 degrees, and for sheep, 50 degrees when freshly shorn or 28 degrees with 2.5 inches of fleece, he said. ”  If temperatures drop below these values, extra feed or other measures to provide shelter from rain and wind are important to help keep their metabolism going.

Source: USDA ARS

Source: USDA ARS