Monday, January 6, 2014

The Challenges of Raising Livestock

You've heard of fair weather fans, right?  Well...for us livestock farmers, the term "fair weather fans" is not an option.  As we left our toasty warm house this morning, the outside temperature was -21 degrees with a wind chill of -50.  Although we would love to stay in where it is warm, we know that our cattle are out there waiting for some warm bedding and to be fed.  The thoughts that are running through our mind as we head out to get started are:  how many waterers will be frozen, how are the cattle handling the cold, will the tractors/payloader start and how long will they keep running in this cold?  So...our first steps are to start the tractors and payloader, then we walk through the cattle to see how they are doing and check the waterers as we walk in the pens.

After the cattle are fed, we begin to bed the pens to give our cattle a warm place to lay.  We have been giving them fresh bedding regularly through this cold snap.

We also changed their feed ration a little to add some more energy to their diet.  We know that they will need more energy to stay warm.

Even though we had a high of -11 degrees today, the cattle were having fun running around in their fresh bedding.  We take extra care during these cold days to make sure that our cattle our warm and healthy.  Our livestock are our first priority when the weather is not ideal.  Our family works together to make them comfortable and happy.