Ice Storms Hard on Livestock

Loss of power and freezing conditions put stress on livestock and farmers.

Published on: Dec 12, 2007

The recent storms have brought much needed moisture to the central and southern plains and the Midwest, but it has also created challenges for livestock producers. According to Gary Naylor, a University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist, a major problem for farmers in the Midwest is loss of power.

"Many of our farms are reliant on power for either milking, or feeding livestock or grinding feed, so when we don't have power, many times our farms come to a standstill," Naylor says. "We have to rely on standby generators or borrow generators to keep the farm going; just because there is bad weather doesn't mean livestock don't need to be fed or milked."

With the storms dropping freezing rain, livestock are wet causing them to need additional feed for survival. This puts a burden on producers to get the necessary feed to the animals. Other complications include downed trees on fences, livestock getting out looking for feed, stress on animals from exposure, and stress on producers trying to deal with all of these situations.