Well it appears we are approaching another week of temperatures of less than 10 degrees. Yes, things just seem to be a little more challenging around the dairy when we drop below 15 degrees.
A common misconception is that these cold spurts are difficult on the animals, but actually cows over 6 months old handle below zero temperatures just fine. Baby calves need special attention and more energy in their milk, but can handle these temperatures also. Udder Tech Inc makes some really warm calf blankets that are designed to specially fit baby calves. With these blankets, plenty of straw, and some fortified milk and these calves really do well. Actually, most of the difficulties on the farm are about equipment operation, and employee comfort. The manure freezes, water troughs freeze, and so do the employee’s.
Soon the next week of bitter cold will be behind us. We will quickly look to better milk prices, and a positive outlook to milking cows in the Midwest once again. While high feed prices will challenge this hope, we must cling to hope.
There have been many tragic endings in the Dairy Industry over the last 2 years, and probably some more to come. We can only hope that the next year can rescue some in the Dairy Industry, and that we all received an education on the fragility of any business.