Baby It’s Cold Outside
I woke up the other morning to another alert on my phone letting me know about a winter weather advisory. It was supposed to start snowing after 3 p.m. and continue through the night and into the next day with accumulations of 3-6 inches. When I said this out loud to my children, the conversation at the breakfast table began.
Would there be school tomorrow?
We didn’t have school a couple days last week because of the temperature.
Last week school was canceled because of the temperature.
When it gets too cold we can’t even go outside to play.
(Then it clicked!)
Daddy still had to feed the cows, even when it was super cold.
Mommy still milked the cows when it was super cold.
Then, in an epiphany of a 6-year-old, “If we don’t continue to take care of our cows, even when it is really cold, they won’t give us their milk.”
And my boy is right. Extreme cold, extreme heat, rain, snow, or a perfect beach day, dairy farmers have a commitment to take care of their cows just like they take care of their families.
This week the thermometer is reading as much as 75-degrees warmer than it was reading last week. Last week we had a little extra work to do. We kept everything closed up to keep the cold out, it seemed as if we were moving snow constantly, we used extra heaters to keep our milking equipment going, we fed extra feed to hungry cows who were burning their energy to stay warm instead of just to make milk, we put extra bedding in for calves and worked hard to keep the bedding for the cows level and comfy even if it did freeze.
We also had to make sure after freezing rain that the milk man could get in and out of our drive way safely and then pray he made the rest of his trip safe and sound.
As the thermometer rises, we still have plenty of work to do. With the changes in temperatures outside, we need to make sure our cows and calves are adjusting okay inside. All the manure that was frozen solid (if you ask me, it froze as soon as it hit the ground last week) is thawing out and can be moved where it needs to go this week.
I recently said that I don’t know that there is ever more or less work to do on a dairy farm, but rather a shift in the work that has to be done depending on the time of year and of course the weather. However, no matter the weather, the safety, comfort and well being of our animals is always our first priority.