Providing Shade for Cattle – the New Normal?

Published on Tue, 05/07/2019 - 2:43pm

 Providing Shade for Cattle – the New Normal?

 By Larry Myers – Strobel Manufacturing

In the past years at Strobel Manufacturing we’ve noticed some changes.  Three years ago when we really started to promote the Cattle Shade it seemed that it was an experiment . . . and the typical feedlot guy was interested, but the main incentive to buy a portable shade was fear – fear of losing cattle in the searing heat.

I remember taking down this quote:
“I lost 60 head of cattle last year.  A few weeks ago I was in talking to my insurance guy and he said, “Do you have any shade for these cattle?”  I do now!”
The next year people started to take it seriously. We started hearing comments like:
 “Maybe this is a great way to reduce heat stress on my cattle.”
“It does seem they stay on the feed better when they are under shade.”
“I’m hearing that sprinkling my black cattle might actually turn up the heat . . . for sure the humidity – with the water acting as a magnifyer and just giving them a temporary relief”

Last year, we were starting to see a very clear trend . . . many producers were saying “it’s not IF I need shade but WHAT KIND of shade will be best.”   Studies were being conducted and minds are changing.  This research is from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and outlines four practical steps to improving the summer high-stress conditions:

Developing a Heat Stress Management Plan
• Provide plenty of water and emergency water
• Practice low stress handling techniques and consider new feeding patterns
• Move cattle away from windbreaks and structures that might impede air flow
• Provide shade for your animals
Source: University of Nebraska – Lincoln extensionpublications.unl.edu

Last July, I did a test myself with a handheld thermometer gun.  It was a hot day with the ground temperature at 137 – 147 degrees and I wanted to know what difference the Strobel Super Shade was providing.  All I did was slide the gun from the full sun and under the shade.  The thermometer dropped to 103!  That’s a 35 to nearly 45 degree difference.  You can see this on YouTube if you search “Strobel Super Shade.”
www.strobelmfg.com/cattle-shade
The 40’ x 40’ Strobel Self-Storing Super Shade provides a sturdy 1600 square feet of shade to service over a 100 head of cattle - with a 70% mesh tarp with ratchet strap hold downs and convenient winter storage right to the frame. The 3 ton base provides stability in high winds; built Strobel Strong – with a full 2 year warranty on the mesh tarp.
Is shade for cattle the new normal?  Is it a sure way to protect your investment and increase your gains?
From where I sit (in the shade), it seems that times have changed.  And we need to remember what Benjamin Franklin said, “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”

See a full cattle shade video on YouTube or at the Strobel Manufacturing page on Facebook.  For more information or to ORDER call 308.548.2254 or interact with us at larry@strobelmfg.com