Kansas cattle ranchers battle cold to keep herds warm
BUTLER COUNTY, Kan. (KAKE) - A cold and windy day across south central Kansas but the cattle don't really seem to mind.
"They do a lot better than what you and I do out here," said Jacob Kehler.
Kehler runs Spring-Fed Cattle Company in Butler County. He says his team has been working since Wednesday to keep the cattle from feeling the chill.
"We've upped their feed value intake also a little bit just to acclimate with the cold," Kehler said. "As they process and digest forage, they actually increase their temperature internally. and so keeping good feed out in front of them and ample is is very critical."
Kehler says they have been checking on the cattle more during the cold weather, breaking up the ice over any water containers, and bringing up hay twice a day.
He also says while that amount of feed helps right now, it can't last long. Due to this summer's drought, hay prices are through the roof.
"Procurement of hay has definitely been a challenge. we didn't put up near the tonnage that we traditionally do," said Kehler.
He adds that they have been doing more thorough health checks to make sure any issues aren't being made worse by the cold. But even with these extremely cold temps, Kehler says the cattle are tougher than they look.
"Once they kind of get their bellies full of hay and feed, they'll definitely go bed themselves down somewhere out of the wind and in the sunlight."
Kehler says he can keep the increased feeding up for a bit, but if we get a few more of these big cold snaps that maybe run a little longer, it could end up being very costly.