Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Baby, It's Cold Outside

When our Minnesota winter weather dips below zero degrees like it has the past few days, and the wind makes it feel even colder, it is time to take serious action. I pull on my warmest hat, coat, and mittens, and I also try to stay indoors as much as possible.

Our animals do much the same as we do in this weather. No, we don't have hats and mittens for our cattle, but we do have cold weather procedures to keep our animals comfortable.

Just like us throwing another blanket on the bed, our animals get additional bedding too. Straw and cornstalks are added daily to the pens as insulation from the cold. Our cows are housed in a freestall barn which allows them to move about freely to eat and drink whenever they like. This barn provides protection from the wind and cold. 

If you read my Farming 101-1 Cow Milking post, you know that after milking each cow, its utter is treated with a sanitizer dip. In winter months we use a powdered dip that is specially formulated for inclement weather, to provide better protection from the cold.

The cows aren't the only ones to get special treatment during this cold snap. This three day old calf is modeling an insulated coat to keep her warm and comfortable. And look at all the fresh bedding she gets!

The final job of the day, no matter what the temperature, is to walk through the barns to make sure everyone is tucked in for the evening. We take the comfort and safety of our animals very seriously.

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