Why Are Cattle Drought Deaths Across Texas Being Blamed on Too Much Water?

cattle photo

Photo: curtis_ovid_poe

This summer has thus far been brutal across the nation. Drought and high temperatures are making life difficult for farmers and ranchers alike. And it's no surprise that widespread drought in Texas specifically is causing the deaths of cattle, but the reason behind it is certainly unexpected. According to the Associated Press and seen on Accuweather.com, the deaths are caused by too much water. Cattle aren't dehydrated in the way you would expect. Instead, they drink too much.

Several cattle in Texas have died from drinking too much water. They're overly thirsty as a result of a lack of rain and high temperatures so some drink so much water they die.

According to the Associated Press:

The drought conditions have caused cattle producers to move their herds from pastures where water tanks have dried to new pastures with healthier water supplies. The cattle then gorge themselves on too much water and die within minutes of water intoxication.

They overdo it as a result of previous dehydration.

"They over drink because they're thirsty," said Dr. Robert Sprowls of the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in Amarillo said to the Associated Press. "Once they fill up on water it happens pretty quickly."

Additionally, according to the article, water is becoming contaminated with salt, nitrates, and other materials that can make matters worse.

Unfortunately, there seems no end in sight for ranchers. Brian wrote this week about the massive drought that has already hit 14 states. He wrote that climate scientists believe that increased temperatures due to global warming will mean that droughts like this will continue to happen, only getting worse.

Like this? Follow my Twitter feed.
More on Droughts
Conventional Wisdom May Worsen Savannah Droughts
Global Warming to Blame for 37% of Droughts
Global Warming Will Worsen West's Water Crisis in Coming Years

Related Content on Treehugger.com