Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Blizzard keeps Midwest cattle ranchers busy

The winter storm that paralyzed cities across the Midwest has made life harder for exhausted ranchers like Byrd. Even those whose cows aren't ready to give birth have been busy trying to keep their water from freezing, putting out extra rations to make sure the animals maintain their weight and watching for signs of frostbite. Feedlots in the Texas Panhandle lost cattle several years ago when temperatures plummeted unexpectedly. The animals "just flat froze, standing in the lot," said Bill Hyman, executive director of the Independent Cattlemen's Association in Texas. While widespread deaths aren't common, Hyman said it's not usual to lose some animals to frostbite or freezing. In 2007, more than 1,000 cattle died during a winter storm that struck 44 Kansas counties that were home to 3.7 million cows...more

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