Our Iowa winters always seem to have a variety of conditions for us to work around, and this year is no exception. We woke up to a nice little ice storm this morning. Although we welcome the moisture, ice brings many challenges to chore time. We are not allowed the luxury of waiting for the storm to pass before we go out to do chores. Roger got right out there this morning and fired up the feeder wagon to get everyone fed. We have pens of cattle at two other farm places as well as where we live so we started with the road trips first. Traveling on the roads was the easy part - the hard part was making sure the tractor didn't slide into the bunks. Fortunately, the temperatures hung right around the freezing mark today. The cattle actually thought it was a pretty nice day - they were jumping and playing around as we fed.
We always make sure that the cattle have a warm and dry place to lay down. That is especially important when the weather isn't at it's best. So, this afternoon, every pen received fresh bedding to lay on.
We have a bale shredder that distributes the bales around the pen. All the pens have mounds that we bed outside on, as well as having bedding in the sheds for them. When the temperatures are as warm as they were today, the cattle prefer to be outside.
It doesn't take them long to start sifting through the fresh bedding. After they finish eating their supper, they will make their way to the new bedding and tuck in for the night. And...we will start our process all over again tomorrow. This time of year takes a lot of extra bedding, but we want to make sure our "kids" are warm and comfortable.