Dr. Kim Mullenix, an Alabama Extension animal science specialist, offers the following nutrition guidelines for livestock during flooding.
- Energy requirements of animals during a flood event is increased due to an increase in their maintenance requirements. Extra energy is expended trying to get out of water, walk in mud, etc.
- Supplement cattle with a high energy, easily digestible feed for 3 to 5 days after being moved to higher ground to help rebuild their energy reserves. Also, provide free-choice hay or adequate pasture along with supplementation.
- Provide a complete mineral supplement containing calcium, phosphorus, and trace minerals such as copper, zinc, and selenium. Calcium and phosphorus are the minerals needed in the largest amounts by beef cattle. Mineral supplementation is especially important given the elevated level of stress for cattle during this time.
- Adequate nutrition is needed to support proper immune function, and will help cattle respond better should vaccinations be needed.
Alabama Extension has the publication Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle, ANR-0060 that provides a more complete guide to nutrition requirements.