livestock can usually take care of themselves during floods.
Do not let them become trapped in low-lying pens. A number
of safety precautions, as outlined at right, can be taken
for animals housed in barns during a flood. Above all, be
sure animals are evacuated before floodwaters enter barns
and other enclosed livestock areas. Animals sometimes refuse
to leave during a rapid rise of water and may drown.
broad, level flood plains where floodwaters are seldom deeper
than 3 or 4 feet, you may need to construct mounds of soil on
which livestock can stay until floodwaters recede. Try to locate
the mounds where they will not be washed away by fast-flowing
feed and water. Water is essential. Thirsty animals
will try to break out to get to floodwaters. If clean water
is in short supply, limit feed intake.
animals are housed with machinery, fasten bales of straw
in front of sharp edges and protruding parts such as cutter
bars or crank handles. (Do not use hay, because animals
will eat it.) Try to cover wooden paddle wheels on combines
or choppers, since these parts can be dangerous.
off narrow passageways where animals would be unable
to turn around. A few heavy animals in a narrow dead end
can be dangerous both to themselves and the building.
absolutely certain that herbicides, pesticides and treated
seeds are not even remotely accessible to livestock, and
are stored where floodwater will not contaminate livestock
feed or water.
off electricity at the main switch. Livestock could
damage electric fixtures, causing fires or electrocutions.
there is a possibility that dairy barns may become inundated,
drive cattle out of the barn. During rapid rise of water,
cattle often refuse to leave the barn and may drown inside
if the water rises high enough. For this reason, begin evacuation
measures before a state of emergency.
Weather-reporting services, such as the National Weather Service, to predict the severity of flooding; your local emergency government office; your county agricultural agent
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