Stockmen Scramble To Shelter Calves - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Stockmen Scramble To Shelter Calves

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North Dakota farmers had plenty of time to move newborn calves to shelter and protect them from the winter storm that blew through this morning.

The Stockmen's Association and the North Dakota Department of Agriculture sent out an alert yesterday, warning producers about the dangerous blizzard that was headed for the northern plains.

When it's storming outside, most of these calves and cows have to stay out in the cold.

Keeping livestock out of the wind is more important than keeping them warm.

"We've got a lot of shelter belts, trees, wind breaks, a lot of wind break fences and some of the younger calves we have calf shelters they can go inside if they want to," says livestock producer Will MacDonald.

When a blizzard blows through, Will MacDonald checks cows every two-hours and immediately herds newborns into a warm calving barn as soon as they drop.

"A lot of times they'll just drop outside, and we'll just bring them right in right away or we catch the cow calving, and we put them in our calving barn ahead of time," says MacDonald.

After the weather calms down MacDonald's newborns won't be out of the woods.

"Maybe the worst part will be the stress on the calves, or they could get sick later on, get scours and pneumonia and things like that," he says.

MacDonald will be spreading lots of straw bedding around to keep his calves dry when the snow begins to melt. He says even though this winter has been unusually cold, he's seen worse, but hopes this is the last blizzard he and his herd have to weather this spring.

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