Why do cattle opt to stand out in a pouring cold rain?

greybeard

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I've seen this time and again--cattle standing out in a cold pouring rain when they have a nice dry 3 sided loafing shed to get under. Mine are the same way, tho they will go stand under a tree which offers scant respite from the elements. It's never made any sense to me, but I don't have a thick hide and a body covered withhair either. When I had horses, they'd head for the barn when it started coming down but the cows just stand out in it. ???????
 

carolinagirl

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I guess they just aren't bothered by rain. I have had goats in the past and have sheep now. As soon as the first rain drop falls, the goats run for cover. The sheep though....they stay out and graze right through the storm.
 

greybeard

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Doesn't bother me much except most our rain is accompanied by lightning and under a tree isn't the best place to be.
 

carolinagirl

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that's very true but I don't think cattle understand this. They are not known for their intelligence. lol! I really doubt there is a solution unless maybe you can call them all into a fenced paddock area during a storm.
 

WildRoseBeef

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I just wonder if it's something to do with how they were raised. If a calf's mother goes to a more sheltered area when it rains or starts storming, then the calf learns to go to a sheltered area when it rains. And of course if one decides to go to the sheds then the rest of the herd will follow. I've seen this plenty with the cattle we've had. The steers we've had were not dumb and didn't stay out on the pasture in a heavy rain: most, if not all of them came in to the corrals and took shelter from the rain in the sheds, or went to the nearest treed area to get out of the rain. If it was a light rain, most would stay out because it wasn't enough to make them get cold or anything.
 

SheepGirl

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My sheep stay outside regardless if it's raining, snowing, hailing, etc. Only time they come in really is to eat.
 

quiltnchik

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greybeard said:
Doesn't bother me much except most our rain is accompanied by lightning and under a tree isn't the best place to be.
Do you have insurance against lightning strikes? We have a policy insuring all of our farm animals (pigs, goats, horses) from lightning strikes. Might be a good idea if they're using a tree for shelter during t-storms.
 

greybeard

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I don't even have insurance (other than my standard life ins) against ME getting struck by lightning, and I have been hit by lightning before. (yes--it hurt--it really really hurt)
 

Cricket

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I've had some cows that would stay out in the rain and some that would head for the barn for drizzle. My horse prefers to stay out in the worst weather, but will stand in the barn all day in the summer if there's flies out. I sometimes wonder if part of the barn problem is the noise of rain would cover predator sounds. (She considers moose predators).
 

Stubbornhillfarm

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Our two beef critters don't mind the rain at all. The two Jerseys you will normally find hundled down under cover if it's rainning.

Snow is a different story! They have spent two out of the last 3 weeks in the shelter because they don't like to walk or stand in the snow. They have open access to go in or out at any time 24/7. Last week they were pretty rambunctious with cabin fever. My husband wonders if maybe the crunching of the snow echos and they think something is after them.

Silly critters!
 
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