Gear Up Now To Move Livestock Out Low Areas

100,000 cattle died in the 2009 and 2010 spring floods.

Published on: Feb 11, 2011

With major flooding expected in eastern North Dakota when the snow begins melting in 6-8 weeks, it's best to move cattle or at least develop a plan to utilize other facilities.

"Livestock and floodwaters do not mix," says Charlie Stoltenow, North Dakota State University Extension Service veterinarian. "Trying to rescue cattle and other large livestock in deep-water situations is he a dangerous and losing proposition, and it can be deadly both to the animal and you. Water temperatures are near freezing, and there's floating ice and debris."

More than 100,000 cattle, including calves, were estimated to have died in North Dakota in the springs of 2009 and 2010. Many were trapped by floodwaters. Flooding also prevented producers from reaching feed supplies for their livestock.

"It is easier to move or blow snow on top of frozen ground to get to your hay now than it is to try to fight 3 feet of mud with 3 feet of water on top of that," Stoltenow says. "Early February may be too soon to move a lot of snow to accomplish this, but producers should have their contingency plans in place by mid-March, if not sooner."

Having feed supplies on hand is important because producers can't count on feed or fuel assistance being available during a flood. If feed supplies run short, NDSU's FeedList website - - may be able to help. It's a place producers can go to find feedstuffs for sale. It's also a place for feedstuff sellers to market their supplies

Source: NDSU Extension Communications