Dangerously cold weather threatens major source of income for KS ranchers

Published: Feb. 10, 2021 at 6:47 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RENO COUNTY, Kan. (KWCH) - Dangerously-low wind chills and temperatures down to single digits present added challenges for numerous industries. For Kansas ranchers, the brutal cold requires around-the-clock care to protect a major source of income.

Near Haven, it’s been an especially busy week at Cokeley Farms. A calf was born Tuesday night (Feb. 9) and Cy Cokeley expected more to come Wednesday.

“The death loss, if you don’t put forth some effort here could be catastrophic,” Cokeley said.

He said keeping his animals alive right now is an around-the-clock job. To keep calves warm, they’re laying out a lot of bedding and finding structures to keep them out of the wind.

“Behind a tree row, in the barn, southside, of the building, anywhere and everywhere we can,” Cokeley said.

But space on the property is limited and more cows will soon give birth.

“Hopefully within 24 to 36 hours, we can get (the recently-born calf and its mother) away from the barn, back out with the group next to a tree row or something where (the calf) can survive the climate, and we can bring these mothers ready to have a baby into the barn with lights where they can be checked,” Cokeley said.

The wind chill over the next several days threatens a major source of income for Kansas ranchers.

“These calves, when they’re born could be worth$800 to $1,000 apiece by the time we sell them,” Cokeley said.

With days of sub-freezing temperatures ahead, he said it’ll be a long week.

“You know, these cows obviously are here to provide us with a living, but when the weather gets like this, we’ve got to provide them with a living as well,” Cokeley said.

Copyright 2021 KWCH. All rights reserved.