Cold snap could impact profits generated from cattle, Seguin rancher says

SEGUIN, Texas – A Seguin rancher is gearing up to protect livestock from the upcoming cold snap, as Thursday’s freezing temperatures could hurt the profits generated from those animals.

Rancher Jim Colvin said calves are born in the winter.

“Calving season is where you make your money,” Colvin said.

Calves are sensitive to a temperature drop, which can cut into profits.

“The cold can really affect them. And you can lose a calf because of the cold,” Colvin said.

He said one way to keep the cattle warm is to give them extra food, such as hay.

“They use more energy, just like you or I would. You need more food because, you know, you get chilled and cold. So they need more energy to make heat, to stay comfortable,” Colvin said.

This year’s drought has made hay hard to come by and expensive. A hay bale costs nearly double what it did last year, and nutrient-rich grass can’t grow without rain.

As a result, cattle are thinner and have less protection from the cold.

“They don’t start cycling or ovulating to get pregnant at the age they should. And it affects -- if they do get pregnant, it can affect their milk supply and how their calves -- how healthy their calves are going to be,” Colvin said.

He said any newborn calves will take shelter.

“We try to get that cow and calf into some protection under the barn just overnight,” Colvin said.

Another strategy to keep the livestock warm is to move them near trees and brush to protect them from the wind.

Colvin said he would check on his heifers over the next few days and ensure their water supply doesn’t freeze.


About the Authors:

Camelia Juarez is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2022. Camelia comes from a station in Lubbock, Texas. Now, she is back in her hometown. She received her degree from Texas State University. In her free time, Camelia enjoys thrifting, roller-skating and spending time with family and friends.

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.