“Cows were huddled in, pressed up against each other in corners of pens and refused to move. Farmers couldn’t get them to move into milking barns. Herd instinct,” said Gerald Baron, executive director of Save Family Farming, a farm advocacy group. “Most cows died from injuries from each other and some from cold exposure. They went down and couldn’t get up.”
About 28 cows that were injured are likely to be euthanized, farmers said.
“Each cow could be worth $2,000, so we’re looking at $3.2 million plus future production loss, but right now the bigger impact is a huge emotional loss to farmers,” said Dan Wood, executive director of Washington State Dairy Federation.
Dairy farmers already are struggling to survive in extremely difficult market conditions, so the storm losses are like a double-whammy, he said.
“Farmers put up hay bales for wind barriers and tried to do what they could. Farmers were out there in zero degrees or less with wind chill, risking their lives to save cattle,” Wood said.
No farmers or workers were reported injured, he said.
The farm has changed to a white blue snow blanket. Seems everything has this new color and shape, all objects on the farm have 26 inches of snow and more to come. Yes, twenty-six inches of snow.
A week ago today the weather report changed from a mild winter to a wicked storm advisory. Living on a farm we must be 100% self-sufficient as this is farm life. We blanked all the equine donkeys and horses and prepared for the worst while praying for the best. The worst came within twenty-four hours we had 26 inches of snow on the farm. With this came weather in the teens. This is the kind of weather that makes pipes break its cold outside.
Donkeys evolved in the desert. Donkeys cannot take the weather when it drops into the 20’s or lower. Shelter is a must for all equine. Our horses live in a small paddock in the winter and they need a blanket too. All the donkeys and horses have taken to the snow with no problem including taking a little REM nap with their blankets on. The miniature donkeys do not like the snow. Why? The snow comes up to their bellies. The miniature donkeys stay in the barn. They have no interest in the cold snow.
Donkeys and horses prefer warm clean water. Salt is important to prevent colic. Hay, we feed with a slow feeder to prevent colic.
The weather report says at least another seven days of this snow. The farm will survive but we are tired of it already. Poop must be picked up every day to avoid a mess and parasites. We are going to need the tractor to clean this mess up. Wow!
Life on a farm is never boring. Its work, and its love. We love our farm and the animals so very much. We are looking forward to spring.
You must be logged in to post a comment.