Local ranchers battle dangerous temperatures in the midst of calving season

Published: Feb. 13, 2021 at 9:09 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) -Many area ranchers are in the midst of calving season, and this extreme cold has made it difficult for them to ensure the safety of their cattle, especially the newborns.

“It’s about as bad as I’ve ever seen it, right now. And it’s going to get worse,” a Douglass rancher, Gregg Mackay said.

Mackay raises cattle in several pastures around Douglass, with most of his heifers ready to give birth at any minute. He says this abnormal freezing stretch has already claimed at least six calves.

“Soaking wet and you throw them out in sub-zero weather, won’t take long to freeze. So it’s pretty hard to travel nine different pastures and find that right time and place.”

Gregg Mackay and his son-in-law, Josh Eccles, have been working around the clock this last week to make sure their cattle and calves survive this stretch of below freezing weather.

The two go out and check on the cattle periodically all night long, leaving them with many sleepless nights.

Mackay says he doesn’t have a barn big enough to fit 300 cows and their calves, even then the issue of overcrowding and crushing the calves becomes a concern. He looks forward to warmer days to come.

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