Proactive approach necessary to help cattle survive frigid temperatures

Austin Pollack On a day like today, you're probably begging to stay inside, but what about for those who are stuck outside such as farmers tending to their cattle?

Bill Coffindaffer grew up across the street from the farm which he has owned since 1970. The Jane Lew resident spent time living in North Carolina before returning to the Mountain State. Caring for cattle in the frigid West Virginia winters is nothing new to him.

"Cows will do better out where they have a lot of range instead of pinned up in a barn," Coffindaffer said.

He's raised cattle all this time, so he's no stranger to what it takes to prepare them for single digit temperatures. He says a big part has to do with preparation.

"If you've done a good job of taking care of them, worked with the veterinarian, have an excellent health program, and you feed and water, cows will take care of themselves," he said.

With almost 20 cows on his farm, it can get busy. He knows what nutrients his cows need throughout the year.

"You provide free choice hay, free choice water, and free choice minerals, salt, the cattle will do an excellent job of surviving," Coffindaffer said.

Coffindaffer also explained some of the common misconceptions when it comes to keeping cows comfortable. One big portion has to do with where they're kept.

"I think a misconception of a lot of people sometimes, they feel they have to have them in the barn," he said. "Cow will do better where they have a lot of range instead of pinned up in a barn."

What about a potential loss of production? Coffindaffer says it's important to think about the calves.

"Cold weather could have a dramatic effect on production by loss of calves," he said. "Get some milk in them and once they get milk in them, they'll go."