DALLAS COUNTY, Iowa — Livestock farmers have to work with the weather and they’re always trying to find new ways to keep their animals healthy, especially this winter in dangerously cold temperatures.
Some rely on traditional farming practices. Others are using modern tools to keep the animals and themselves safe.
In Dallas County, Chad Wilkerson is using barns to help his cattle in the winter, “We built it last fall, and it really works well to keep the, just the environment off of the cattle. Keeping them dry, keeping them out of the wind.”
Wilkerson primarily farms cattle and hogs. He has 400 head of cattle this year and the new barns makes it easier to take care of them.
“When it’s, the wind’s blowing 60 miles an hour, and it’s 50 below. Farmers are still out there taking care of their livestock.” Wilkerson says, “In this building you’re able to really watch them. I mean it’s not like you’re out there on 180 acres on corn stalks, you can actually, I mean, just walk down the feed alley and see every single one of them.”
Wilkerson says the cattle are in better shape with the new barns built of Accusteel, especially in calving season.
Wilkerson has been calving since December 20, “You’re keeping all that wetness, cold, rain, snow, wind and everything off of that calf. You’re giving it the best possible conditions to grow.”