Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bitter Cold and Livestock

The weather is awful tonight. Single digit temperatures combined with winds in excess of 25 mph making windchills, well, downright dangerous. To top it off it is snowing. In short it is not a night for man or beast outside.

Great night to be in my easy chair by the fire. Well, for now I am. However, in a couple of hours I will be heading out to the barn to check the ewes that are about to lamb. If they are in the process of lambing I will spend most of the night with them, making sure they and their lambs are OK.

The preparations for tonight started weeks ago. We winterized the barn, hung tarps , boarding all but one door(to cut down drafts) and hung heat lamps. Pens were built and lined with straw. We try to give our lambs the best possible environment to be born in. If all else fails we have an area in our basement with a space heater to help warm them up.

The bottom line is as a livestock producer we do everything we can to insure the health and well-being of our animals. No matter what the weather conditions or how bad we want to stay in we know that is not a possibility. So later on tonight I will put on my chore clothes, coat and brave the winter storm to take care of my animals. Why? Because as a livestock producer our animals come first.


  1. But the truth really is - that if these animals were not bred to be in captivity... They would not be facing these extremes in temperatures at all... They would not be in labor during the colder months --- Nature wouldn't work that way, but it seems that man does.

    And please, I've read through many of your posts... With all your "care and concern" for your "livestock"... You "care" for them because they make you money. Their only value to you is what their flesh will bring once they make their way to the slaughterhouse.

    The most bitter thing about this all... The artificial insemination, the antibiotics, the mutilations and the killing --- Is that none of it is necessary. We can thrive on a plant based diet... I think it's high time we evolved out of our ancient and primitive, domineering herding mentality.

    I'm happy that the alternatives to animal agriculture are finally being recognized.

  2. Actually Bea, nature wouldn't work that way. They would breed year round in all kinds of climates. They would inbreed. They would miscarriage. They would have no one to care for them and soon go the way of the dinosaur.