Cattle Died of Heat....

D2Cat

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We're told it's a combination of heat and humidity in a rare combination. Hot during the day and the temperatures stayed in the mid 80's all night caused the stress that led to death of first reported 10,000 head, then 2,000 - 3,000. Sounds like a buy-able story at first, but then realize Texas, Florida, and other state have much hotter weather and humidity for MUCH longer periods of time. How about Australia's heat and cattle death statistics? Things don't line up.

Here's some interesting possibilities.

 

jimh406

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I heard a rancher interview the other day about this situation. He didn’t own the cattle.

He also said that cattle can handle extremes. But, in this case, they had a dramatic humidity change and dramatic heat change together producing extreme stress. According to him, that’s why it was deadly. Cattle simply can’t handle both of those extreme changes at once.

So, according to him although rare, there was nothing nefarious going on.
 
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Bmyers

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I heard a rancher interview the other day about this situation. He didn’t own the cattle.

He also said that cattle can handle extremes. But, in this case, they had a dramatic humidity change and dramatic heat change together producing extreme stress. According to him, that’s why it was deadly. Cattle simply can’t handle both of those extreme changes at once.

So, according to him although rare, there was nothing nefarious going on.
I watched a video stating the same. It was a rare combination of events that led to the deadly circumstances.
 

D2Cat

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Cattle under stress or not don't all die at one time. The weaker ones show signs of problem and they get help from the herdsman or they die. These steers were ready for market, not weak older animals. These feed lots are income producing farms, not inexperienced city slickers with a few cattle. They have professionals, including veterinarians on call or on premises.

The heat and humidity, as reported in the news, has been all over the state and surrounding area. Why only the cattle in the Ulysses, Ks area?
 
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Biker1mike

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Quick search shows US slaughters 30, 000,000 head a year. This event is only 0.03% of the year.
This looks bad and sounds bad, but I bet it is only a small blip on the cattle radar.
 

PaulR

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Quick search shows US slaughters 30, 000,000 head a year. This event is only 0.03% of the year.
This looks bad and sounds bad, but I bet it is only a small blip on the cattle radar.
You mean to say...."This is just the beginning!"
<tinfoilhat>
🤖
😱
 
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Fordtech86

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Fordtech86

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4/12/22 89,700 chickens destroyed at farm in Wayne, North Carolina
4/12/22 1,746,900 chickens destroyed at egg farm in Dixon, Nebraska
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4/13/22 Fire destroys East Conway Beef & Pork Meat Market in Conway, New Hampshire
4/13/22 Plane crashes into Gem State Processing, Idaho potato and food processing plant
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4/20/22 2,000,000 chickens destroyed at egg farm in Minnesota
4/21/22 A small plane crashed in the lot of a General Mills plant in Covington, Georgia
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4/25/22 1,501,200 chickens destroyed at egg farm Cache, Utah
4/26/22 307,400 chickens destroyed at farm Lancaster Pennsylvania
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4/28/22 Allen Harim Foods processing plant killed nearly 2M chickens in Delaware
4/2822 110,700 Turkeys destroyed Barron Wisconsin
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4/29/22 1,366,200 chickens destroyed at farm Weld Colorado
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5/10/22 72,300 chickens destroyed at farm Lancaster Pennsylvania
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5/13/22 10,500 Turkeys destroyed Barron Wisconsin
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6/14/22 Over 10,000 head of cattle have reportedly died in the recent Kansas heat wave (New)
 
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imnukensc

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Do some actual fact checking when you read the scare stories.
Food processing plant fires and destroying chickens/turkeys is nothing new or alarming.
 
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D2Cat

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Do some actual fact checking when you read the scare stories.
Food processing plant fires and destroying chickens/turkeys is nothing new or alarming.
Look at the number of forced shut down food producing plants and the time frame it has all happened. You think that number in that time frame is not unusual?
 
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D2Cat

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Quick search shows US slaughters 30, 000,000 head a year. This event is only 0.03% of the year.
This looks bad and sounds bad, but I bet it is only a small blip on the cattle radar.
The percentage of animals slaughtered annually compare to these deaths is not the issue. What was the cause of death in such a limited area and time is the issue. Facts from a necropsy performed by independent veterinarians may be more truthful.
 
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sheepfarmer

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The percentage of animals slaughtered annually compare to these deaths is not the issue. What was the cause of death in such a limited area and time is the issue. Facts from a necropsy performed by independent veterinarians may be more truthful.
Yes that is the point. Half the time when a horse colics it is a "management issue", eg how the horse was being fed, dewormed, teeth floated etc. There are a bunch of old articles about deaths due to heat in feedlot cattle, and even recommendations about where geographically lots can be located to avoid the problem. High density of animals and pushing concentrates to them cuts the safety margin. The bacterial fermentation going on in the rumen generates heat, so the poor things have their own internal furnace going full blast in a heat wave as well. From the sound of things this particular heat event was sudden, so the feed lot managers may not have had time to change diet or activate sprinklers. A management problem, very likely accidental.

Btw there is a good reason cattle in tropical climates are white. Black angus are at a disadvantage in hot unshaded lots.
 

Borane4

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Im no expert on cattle, but the events tell a reasonable story.
1. Very hot day, black cows, crowded feedlot, heated all day by the sun. Nothing special about this.
2. On a corn diet for calories while finishing, which makes the digestion in their rumen produce a ton of heat. Nothing special about this either.
3. After the sun went down, the temperature went UP to >100F overnight. The cows gained no relief from the heat of the day and could not shake off the heat. The night time heating was very unusual.
 

Flintknapper

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Im no expert on cattle, but the events tell a reasonable story.
1. Very hot day, black cows, crowded feedlot, heated all day by the sun. Nothing special about this.
2. On a corn diet for calories while finishing, which makes the digestion in their rumen produce a ton of heat. Nothing special about this either.
3. After the sun went down, the temperature went UP to >100F overnight. The cows gained no relief from the heat of the day and could not shake off the heat. The night time heating was very unusual.

Exactly right. Don't know what it is with that guy and his 'suspicious this' and 'suspicious that'. Makes me wonder what he knows about cattle. Cattle can 'adjust; but cattle don't adjust QUICKLY.

There is a genetic component to consider as well. IF these cattle were mostly Black Angus (a very popular breed in Kansas) they aren't especially heat tolerant to begin with. Cattle do NOT sweat well (roughly 10% that of humans). They have to shed head by breathing (panting, by radiation, by less food intake, shade, wind, water). Not unlike a dog that gets overheated, they can get into trouble quickly.

Were these feedlot cows or pastured? IF feedlot then probably exposed to the sun (lots of solar gain on black cows), hot ground, bunching of cows, feed amount not adjusted (rumen producing heat). NO relief at night (chance to recover).

This has occurred plenty of times in the past (thousands of animals dead) ALL in one tight geographic area.


I lived in Kansas for 6 years....I can tell you, it can get Damn HOT there. Texas (where I have lived for many decades now) has nothing on Kansas except for the 'average heat'. It can easily get 105+ in Kansas. Then add solar gain to that. Ever put your hand on something dark colored that has been laying out in the summer sun?

If all or most the cattle were in like physical condition then I would expect all or most to succumb to the heat at pretty much the same time. There is a threshold....that once crossed, things can happen quickly. Ask any poultry farmer about that.

I just don't see anything 'suspicious' about the event.
 

Kurtee

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This same thing happened in Minnesota not too long ago. Cattle ready for market and can't handle the heat stress. This was on a feedlot near where I grew up that is a contract feeder. Big loss and most likely no insurance coverage.
 

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I heard a report on it on RFDTV Saturday morning.

Tyne Daley was quite vague with details, numbers, etc. Took note that it was reported very carefully. NCBA is a major sponsor of RFDTV. Not unexpected.

Spoke highly of the concerted efforts of the producers to avoid/prevent the losses.