“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.
A blanket is like a fire extinguisher we hope we do not need to use it. We have it ready and learn how to use it before the emergency hits. Please be prepared. Please train your donkey to accept the blanket before the emergency hits. I never blanket unless an emergency or the donkey is suffering cant move due to arthritis and age. As soon as the weather gets out of extreme cold the blanket is off. Or the vet says the stall rest is over etc., No blanket is water proof. We must use common sense. Warm water in the winter (clean) helps donkeys drink more and lose free salt.
GOD bless you and your family two and four-legged!
Our last winter in the 5th wheel has been a challenge while we watch our home be built. We are looking forward to spring and saying goodbye to this wet and snowy Pacific Northwest winter in Sequim, WA.
Seems the snow and rain would not stop. Plants in my little flower garden did not survive this winter. The farm seems to be awakening, the hay-field is growing, soon it will be time to cut and bale hay again. Soon the layers of warm winter clothes will be no more. Wondering where I placed my sunglasses!
We built the barn for the donkeys and horses before our home.
A winter like this one is why we built our barn first. The equine need a place to get out of the wet, cold/snow and wind. Sadly equine die every year from winter conditions. Please give your equine shelter, warm water and clean hay free from mold.
Donkeys evolved from the desert the wet, snow, mud is difficult to combat. Donkeys prefer a dry climate to keep their hooves healthy.
SEATTLE — Were you born after 1985? Then you just experienced the coldest winter of your life. The National Weather Service says the Seattle-area has had the coldest winter season since the winter of 1984-1985 and one of the top 20 coldest winters since record keeping began in 1984.
The agency says the average temperatures taken at the Sea-Tac Airport weather station were colder than normal for December, January, and February, with 21 more nights near or below freezing than normal, adds Q13 Fox Chief Meteorologist Walter Kelley.
Those three months also had fewer days with highs above 50 degrees and far more days with lows below 35 degrees than normal.
While we saw an average amount of rainfall overall this winter, snow was the big showstopper, making this season the snowiest winter since the winter of 2008-2009 with 11.2 inches of snow reported at Sea-Tac.
That also lands this winter in the top 30 snowiest winters for the Puget Sound.
Today marks the end of the meteorological winter season (December – February), prompting many meteorologists to look back at the historic winter. Spring officially begins March 20, 2017.
We didn’t forget about the rain
Yes, it rained/snowed a lot last month. 2017 was the wettest February in more than 50 years — since 1961 to be exact.
Q13 meteorologist Rebecca Stevenson says out of the top 10, it was the second wettest February on record at Sea-Tac with 8.85″ precipitation.