Well, it happened, just as predicted. For a while I thought we were in the clear, and (silly me) I even hung out the laundry yesterday during a (brief) sunny , breezy period. I love hanging out wash, it smells so wonderful when you bring it inside! Alas, the towels are still out on the line, frozen. About an hour after hanging them, the western sky darkened (oh, just a passing shower) and a steady rain ensued. I checked the radar, we'll be ok. And looks like that winter storm (warning ) will miss us as well.
Well, the rain wasn't just a passing shower, and, no, the winter weather didn't miss us either . Although I love meteorology, I suppose I'll stick with what I know. Which brings me to the cows......I know, quit yer rambling lady and get to the point. Point is this. Bed your cows and calves and keep them out of the wind and rain and mud at the very least. I was just reading an
article on the Cattle Network that stated the importance of bedding beef cattle and the ties to calf mortality, difficult births and scours. Lets face it, when animals are comfortable, they simply do better across the board. When I say I have never lost a calf in 8 combined years of owning cattle, that is due to dilligence and a genuine concern for the well-being of my stock.
Yes, I did drag myself out last night after the 11:00 news, into the cold wind and rain turned snow, to see if one of my more timid cows had made it into the freshly bedded barn for the night. Not a creature was stirring, all were asleep in the straw, but as I drew near to the barn light, I could see my poor sweet cow, standing at the gate that seperates the cows from the yearlings, covered with wet snow, as if to say, "well, its going to be a long night..." I quietly walked into the barnyard, opened the gate without a word and let her in with the young stock, who have more than enough room to bed for the night. Satisfied, I walked back to the house, checked the stove one last time, turned out the lights and crawled into bed. Now I could sleep.
The next morning I went out before dawn to feed before leaving for work, and she was still curled up tight in the straw, sound asleep, yearling heifers piled around her.
With wet cold weather, wind and mud coming along with spring, please do yourself and your stock a favor by continuing to provide adequate quality feed, dry bedding and shelter.
With calving season quickly approaching, you cannot afford not to.
Please check out the article and studies done on bedding beef cattle at:
www.cattlenetwork.com. Article: Bedding Beef Cattle Essential. April 3, 2009
Your cattle will benefit, your calves will benefit, and your wallet will benefit as well. Sleep tight!