With the extreme winter conditions we have been experiencing across Western Canada, it is important to ensure that livestock–cattle, horses and other farm animals–have appropriate areas to seek shelter from the cold and wind. Wind chill and cold may reduce the animal’s temperature to below critical level, resulting in a decrease in weight gain and milk yield.
Healthy animals can tolerate a wide range of temperatures if they are acclimatized and have adequate feed and water. However, proper shelter can improve the welfare of animals and reduce production losses. Animals without shelter need to put more energy into normal functioning and less into production. For high risk animals, the outcome may even be death.
Animals at highest risk of cold stress
- – Newborn animals: calves and foals are most at risk during cold weather due to their small size. They need to have good shelter, as even strong and healthy young animals can die if exposed to adverse weather. Cold stress has also been shown to decrease the rate of absorption of colostrum in newborn calves; which compromises their immune systems and can contribute to early death.
- – Animals in low body condition
- – Sick animals
Often, their appetite is stimulated by cold temperatures. Cold stress increases an animal’s need for energy to maintain their body temperature and functions. Studies suggest that a yearling’s energy requirement may increase by 2.5 times during an extreme winter event. By providing shelter and increasing highly digestible feed during cold snaps, you can help livestock maintain normal body temperature and production–minimizing the effects of cold stress.
Special areas for pregnant animals
Special areas designed for pregnant livestock–and their young–keep both animals safe. Bays used for rearing calves and foals should have a draft-free covered area to protect them from the elements.
Shelters designed for easy cleaning
A clear-span layout makes handling your animals and cleaning the livestock shelter easy.
Integrity livestock shelters are designed to be naturally ventilating and adaptable. The amount of shelter provided should be sufficient for all animals to access it at the same time to prevent overcrowding.
Help your animals perform better with a low-cost, low maintenance livestock shelter. Our livestock shelters help improve your animals’ health by protecting them from cold winds and blizzards while providing shade from the hot sun in the summertime.
Find out more about Integrity Post Structures livestock shelters by clicking here>>