When most of my non farming friends and family are baking and watching movies during a snowstorm, we have livestock to take care of. Taking care of our animals isnt a 9-5 job, its a way of life. The first thing we do before presents are opened Christmas morning is go break ice and feed. We dont get holidays and weekends off, and I’m sure most of us can say “What’s a vacation?”
But I do have to sneak in a little time for baking cinnamon rolls or cookies during a snow day 🙂
Those chores are extended this time of year because we have are just getting started with our calving. The heifers are due on February 26, but the early ones usually come a few days early. The cows follow, with the first group of AI’d ones due around March 10. Luckily, being in southern Nebraska, we don’t get very many late winter/early spring snow storms. So calving typically is fairly uneventful.
We do all we can to make the animals comfortable during and after a snowstorm. We make sure the pens are clean and their bellies are full of hay. When their bellies are full, they have extra energy to stay warm.
After the snow has stopped, we push snow and bed them down with straw so they don’t have to lay on cold wet ground. The animals are very thankful for the nice straw bed! The straw provides a layer of insulation between the animal and the ground and they stay very warm, even on the coldest of nights.
The group that we bedded down was the heifers getting ready to calve. We also bed the bulls and horses. Yes my horses are spoiled!
This particular snow storm we got 14-15″ of snow. We are very thankful for the moisture. Now the grass will atleast green up next month! This time of year the snow doesnt hang around very long. The days are getting longer and the temperatures melt the snow fairly fast.