Friday, July 22, 2011

Miniature Herefords, heat and drought

So first , this spring, it simply would NOT STOP RAINING. It rained all through April I recall, and the fields remained super-saturated with standing water for weeks it seemed. Finally the fields began to dry out, and slowly the farmers got their corn and soybeans in, a good 6 weeks late.

Then, it STOPPED. Raining, that is. The last time it rained was June 22. Really. Which for here (Finger Lakes New York State) is a bit, now we have drought. Which, for here, is also a bit unusual.

And it got hot -- REALLY hot. Upper 80's and yesterday marked Rochester's first "heatwave" of 2011, meaning 5 consecutive days with temperatures over 90. (rare here...) Yesterday hit 98 (and remember, we get that fabulous humidity with the heat, too) and winds up to 45 mph, so it felt like a blast furnace when one walked outside....which I did as little of as possible. A small town 40 miles south of us hit 101, another, 100....which again, is just darn hot ANYWHERE.

So of course, I'm concerned about my animals...I get up real early, run cool water into the tubs, feed hay, (the pastures are pretty much dormant, not much growing going on....) fly 8 they are down for the day.

I thought I would document exactly what my cattle do on those hot days....they just find a shady spot, and sleep through the heat.....they seem to like the spot out back under some pine trees along my neighbors stockade fence...its breezy, shady and soft dirt. And there they will stay, until about 3 or 4pm, when they'll head back to the barnyard, check for water, get fed again, and begin their evening / night grazing.....

And sometimes the Cowbirds help with the fly control as well....the cows don't seem to mind at all....

First picture is our neighboring farm / farmland in the summer can see the wheat fields that have just been harvested. This farm (Neenan Farm, Lima NY) is where all our hay and straw comes from for our livestock. We are fortunate to have them as our neighbors; they are award winning area farmers and great stewards of the land; growing corn, wheat, oats, soybeans and hay. They also raise Holstein replacement heifers and Angus for the beef market.

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