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Texas cattle ranchers are fighting the cold to keep their livestock alive

Texas cattle rancher are fighting the cold
Posted at 6:00 PM, Jan 16, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-16 19:12:49-05

LAMPASAS, Texas — While most Texans have a way to get out of the cold weather, cattle do not, and it’s up to the ranchers to keep them alive.

Heston McBride owns AgroTech Lampasas, and when he’s not doing all he can to supply local farmers and ranchers, he’s tending to his own cattle.

“We’ve got leases in several places here in Lampasas County and Burnet County," McBride said.

"Iit gets pretty tough when it gets cold like this, and you’re spread out.”

The frigid temperatures are only the latest struggle.

”It’s been a struggle latel — we’re coming up on a second year of a pretty severe drought, both in 2022 and 2023."

“It's just been a long stretch of stressful times for farmers and ranchers, so it’s getting harder to recover.”

McBride isn’t the only rancher in Lampasas fighting the weather.

Mickey Edwards is doing all he can to keep his cattle alive in the sub-freezing temps.

”What we’re trying to do now is just grow the frame, their bone structure,” Edwards said.

“We’re trying to keep them alive with nutrition."

Not only do they need to keep the cattle fed, but they also need a proper water source, and in the cold weather, that’s not always easy.

Right now, they are chopping the ice in their troughs so the cattle can get something to drink.

”If they don’t have enough water, their intestines won’t digest the food, and that impacts them a little bit,” Edwards said.

"They’ve got to have both.”

Taking care of the cattle in this weather is just the calm before the storm.

”The real struggle will come afterwards — that’s where you find broken pipes, and that’s when the stress from all this kind of hits the animals.”

"We’ll have to navigate that once the time gets here.”

The most important thing, is to make sure the cattle have food and water.

If you think something is wrong, call a vet.