How to Manage Your Cattle This Monsoon January 8, 2019 It is time to prep yourself to leap in the water, and get your hands dirty from the mud pool whilst rowing your own miniature, paper boats over the small streams of water flowing beside. Here comes the monsoon, and we are all set to enjoy one of those blissful seasons. However, at some places, it is the moment of rejoicing, and for the rest, it’s raining cats and dogs. With the onset of monsoon, the environment is subject to deaths such as flooding and in such a situation, it causes severe loss to the humanity, flora, and the fauna. As we take preventive measures and additional care for ourselves during the rainy season, the same is required for the animals especially the livestock who roam around and live in open areas, leaving them exposed to life-threatening diseases. The dairy farmers start to plan and collect resources they would need to manage their cows and protect it. Animals need a close attention in this time when they need to maintain a normal body temperature against the cold weather. The torrential rains affect the environmental humidity to an extent that the temperature drops much below the lowest temperature limit that causes stress to animals. This compels the animals to react in a way, say by seeking shelter or increasing metabolic activity, which could help them maintain their body temperature with the rising cold. Hence, this raises their dietary requirements, especially the quality feeds that are high on energy. The cows specifically, require feeds which are full of nutrients that are essential as they consume more energy to adapt to the climatic conditions and maintain a balanced positive energy. If the cows do not obtain the superior feed supplements, they end up utilizing the reserved energy stored in the body to generate heat and handle body functioning to produce high-quality milk. Eventually, this causes the depletion of stored body fat, in the long term, causing weight loss and attenuation of the insulation material under the skin, exposing them to the cold, stressful weather. The condition seems worse to the heifers who might bear calves in such a bad body condition, lending them a difficult, painful calving, and the arrival of weak, low-in-weight calves. This situation increases calf mortality rate which leads to the moms producing less milk with delayed heat cycle, lowering the reproduction rate. Apart from the impact on the livestock, the heavy downpour does affect the other stuff as well. It becomes difficult to bale the hay, keep the cows feed dry, and watch out the aflatoxins (poisonous carcinogens that cause liver damage and cancer). These dangerous toxins lower the quality of fodder and reduce the consumption by animals from high contamination. Therefore, it’s crucial to maintain the dry feed from the rains to prevent getting them mouldy, especially the hay. Manure and silage should also be stored in a dry place to prevent congealing as the same becomes inconsumable by the cows then. The manure is likely to lose out on vital constituents so it should be stacked up and stored at a proper place away from moisture. To make sure that the animals maintain the desirable body temperature and body weight, you must follow certain steps which will allow you to manage your cattle during the rains and save your money being spent at inappropriate places. Cleanliness is foremost. Animals are very likely to easily catch diseases in this season, exposing various health problems. Therefore, keeping the animals clean and dry always stands as the very first requirement that must be fulfilled. Besides, the cow teats must also be cleaned and sanitized regularly before and after milking. This helps in keeping away the milk from getting contagious. Increase the feed amount. The animals, in this age, need more food and energy to generate heat to live in the cold weather. Feed the cows with nutritional grains and forage. In the case just wet feedstuff is available, make sure it is never too cold or frozen. Also, build a proper, sturdy shelter to keep them unaffected by strong winds. 3. Creating a shed is insufficient. Making a suitable, warm bed for the cows is equally significant as a moist, soiled or dirty bedding leaves them exposed to health difficulties. Thus, a bed of dry sand is the best, however, the availability is limited. In situations like this, you can opt for dry straws or animal mattresses. 4. The rainy season doesn’t indicate sufficiency of drinking water. Cows must be adequately fed with clean and potable water to avert a reduction in consumption of feed from the cows. However, you must ensure that the water you provide is not too cold or at a freezing temperature. 5. The accumulation of rain water during the monsoon is obvious and regular. But the exact same also provides a natural platform for the development of harmful germs and diseases. Therefore, preserving a hygienic surrounding works well in obviating the same.