At 29 degrees this morning, it was just a bit warm yet to have the doors on but it is supposed to drop to 15 degrees F by this afternoon which is a HUGE change from the 60 degrees we had just 2 days ago! That's where the black vents on top of each hutch come in. It's hard to see in the picture but they are wide open right now to let extra humidity out and I can adjust them down as the temp continues to cool off. The calves themselves put off a lot of body heat so we just have to help them contain the right amount of that heat inside of their hutch! We also made sure the calves had just a little extra milk this morning and will do the same tonight to give them some extra energy to get through the change in weather. That, providing plenty of dry bedding and constant vigilance is about all that we can do to make sure they stay healthy through this change!
Although, we people like to complain a lot when the temperature/weather makes a dramatic shift, we can do a lot more for ourselves than we think. We can add or subtract layers of clothes by the minute if we like. And most of us have the option of hanging out in a climate controlled building for much of the day. Animals on the other hand have to rely much more on their bodies to deal with those temperature changes. IF those changes happen gradually, they generally have little to no problem. Cows actually prefer cooler weather! A cow is most comfortable right around 40 degrees F and can easily adjust to below freezing temps. Again, IF those changes happen reasonably gradually. We, as farmers, can't completely shield our animals from the extremes BUT we can help them out by providing shelter, dry bedding, and adequate feed! And that is exactly what we try to do! I mean, who doesn't feel better when they are dry, out of the wind and have a full belly??
Stay warm, safe & ..
Brun Ko Farm