Animal husbandry dept. issues advisory to protect livestock from cold wave : On the directions of Punjab Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Fisheries Minister S. Gurmeet Singh Khudian, the Animal Husbandry department has issued an advisory to protect the livestock from bone-chilling cold weather accompanied by severe winds, which could prove hazardous for livestock and cause significant problems to their owners.
Under extreme winter storm conditions, the advisory suggests, simple shelters alone cannot be effective in protecting livestock so livestock farmers have been advised to use ‘pallis’ made from gunny bags in animal sheds. Keep animals indoors during extreme cold conditions and monitor them often. Monitor the temperature under the sheds, use heaters if required. Keep bedding as dry and clean as possible in order to avoid increased ammonia fumes. Blankets can be used on individual animals if required as Hypothermia occurs when the body temperature drops well below normal. In general terms, with cattle, mild hypothermia occurs with a body temperature of 30°C-32 (86°F-89°F), moderate hypothermia at 22°F-29°C (71°F-85°F) and severe hypothermia below 20°C (68°F). Cows are not able to return to normal temperature without assistance through warming and the administration of warm fluids.
In the advisory, it has also been recommended not to graze cattle in extreme cold weather and maintain a larger feed storage. Very young, very old or sick animals will typically have additional nutritional needs during winter as compared to healthy, middle aged animals. Having abundant and accessible feed will help animals maintain body temperature and survive cold temperatures. Farmers have been asked to ensure that stored winter feed is of good nutrient quality.
Apart from this, consuming enough water is pivotal for animal health and well-being during the winter season. Livestock will not consume an adequate amount of water if it is too cold. Therefore, the livestock farmers have been advised to ensure access to fresh water for livestock.
It has been recommended to seek veterinary treatment immediately to address any concerns especially for pregnant and very young or very old animals, which require special attention.