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Local ranchers prepare for the cold as temperatures start to drop

Cattle
Posted at 7:42 AM, Nov 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-10 10:42:24-05

KERN COUNTY, Calif. — When it comes to his cattle, it's all about staying ahead for Jack Lavers, the owner and operator of Lavers Ranch. Lavers is a sixth-generation cattle rancher. He starts preparing his livestock for winter conditions in the early fall.

"A lot of supplements, I use salt meals, some guys use molasses tubs. It just varies," he said. "A high protein high fat to give them that extra energy."

When there's snow on the ground, Lavers says he will take extra precautions, such as adding alfalfa or oat hay to his feed.

"We also make sure that all our pipes are wrapped around the perils, everything has a consistent water flow," he said. "You've got to go out and check your water troughs and make sure the ice is broken up and the cattle can get a drink."

Lavers urges ranchers to keep animals sheltered if they have recently been injured or are coming in from a different area with weather they're not used to. With temperatures staying in the freezing to below freezing range in parts of Kern County through at least Wednesday morning.

Andy Bollenbacher with the National Weather Service is urging all local ranchers to be aware. While it's harder to bring livestock in, he says all household pets should be indoors during this time.

"It could be very harmful for them out in this freezing cold, so treat them like family. If your cold outside they're gonna be cold outside," said Bollenbacher.