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Farmers trying to keep livestock comfortable during arctic blast

Not every animal is able to go inside, such as livestock.

Posted: Jan 30, 2019 8:43 PM
Updated: Dec 23, 2019 12:05 PM

GARRETT, Ind. (WFFT) - People are reminded to bring animals inside when temperatures are forecasted below freezing.

However, not every animal is able to go inside, such as livestock.

"The main objective is keeping the animals comfortable," said Tim Haynes, Superior Dairy Farm owner.

That can be challenging when temperatures are below zero.

"Animals are no different than humans. You've got to try and maintain body heat," Haynes said.

He added the cattle are built to handle all sorts of weather.

"The one thing people don't think about with livestock is they wear their outside jacket all the time," said Haynes.

A lot of protecting the livestock comes down to the design of the facility.

Wednesday, Haynes' barn north of Garrett was about 20 degrees warmer than what was outside.

"Break the wind, keep the cattle from having outside where the wind can effect them. There's no heat in the barn. The animals themselves heat themselves," he said.

The air screens are also on the north and south sides of the barn, so a wall blocks most of the wind.

The cows also drink from heated water tanks.

But there was a problem with production.

"Automation is good from the standpoint of helping to keep animals keeping comfortable and the milking process. Automation doesn't always handle the cold weather as well as the animals do," Haynes said.

He had to buy more space heaters to help keep the robotic milker from freezing.

Now Haynes is worried about the drastic warm-up expected this weekend.

"Respiratory challenges can be an issue, pneumonia or things like that," said Haynes.

He added production shouldn't be effected too much by the sub-zero temperatures.

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