Livestock need extra care in cold weather


MISSOULA, Mont. - Agriculture is Montana's biggest industry, and while Montana livestock are generally winter hearty, weather this cold can sap their energy.

West of Missoula, near Frenchtown, 16 inches of snow has left a beautiful landscape. But it isn't good grazing weather.

Julie LaCasse's horses, donkeys and burros have a barn to retreat to.  Their water source is heated, and LaCasse makes sure each animal gets about a third of a bale of hay every day.

That's extra ration for the cold snap.

"Normally, they would get a quarter of a bale," said LaCasse. "So it's a little more. You don't want them to get too heavy. You want to make sure they have enough feed to keep themselves warm."

LaCasse said her animals seem to do OK in cold weather if it's dry. But she said they head for the barn when it gets wet.

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