Skip to main content

Logo for N.C. Cooperative Extension N.C. Cooperative Extension Homepage

Winter Feeding Areas for Livestock

en Español / em Português

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.


Inglês é o idioma de controle desta página. Na medida que haja algum conflito entre o texto original em Inglês e a tradução, o Inglês prevalece.

Ao clicar no link de tradução, um serviço gratuito de tradução será ativado para converter a página para o Português. Como em qualquer tradução pela internet, a conversão não é sensivel ao contexto e pode não ocorrer a tradução para o significado orginal. O serviço de Extensão da Carolina do Norte (NC State Extension) não garante a exatidão do texto traduzido. Por favor, observe que algumas funções ou serviços podem não funcionar como esperado após a tradução.


English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

Agent:  Damon Pollard
Date:  November 5, 2021

This is Damon Pollard, Livestock Agent with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service-Burke Center. Today’s topic is Winter Feeding Areas for Livestock.

As we move into colder weather, it is time to think about strategies for winter-feeding of livestock. Choosing a poor location for winter-feeding can negatively impact both soil and water quality. A significant amount of run-off can occur if winter-feeding is conducted around streams, ponds, flood plains or creek bottoms. Storm-water runoff from these areas can carry mud and manure into nearby water bodies, creating water quality problems.

Always, feed in well-drained locations. These should be areas that don’t allow runoff of mud and manure. The farther from surface or ground water resources, the better, as it is less likely for water pollution to occur.

Next, producers should consider using confinement feeding allowing livestock to access a structure or paddock for feeding but then return to a larger pasture. These smaller “sacrifice” pastures reduce the area damaged from winter-feeding. Place water and mineral supplements away from feeders, so livestock will be enticed to eat and then move out and away to water and minerals. This will help lessen the volume of manure at the feeding areas and spread it throughout the fields.

Finally, heavy-use area pads around winter-feeding areas are a worthwhile investment and can greatly reduce mud and rutting from tractor and hoof traffic. These pads are constructed using geo-textile fabric, crushed stone and dense grade aggregate.

By making these considerations for winter-feeding of livestock, producers can greatly reduce the potential to contaminate water resources and can improve production.

This is Damon Pollard, Livestock Agent with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service-Burke Center. If you would like more information, call us at 764-9480.