“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.
Winter has returned to the farm. We are having a wicked freezing snowy, deep snow storm in the Pacific Northwest. All the donkeys and horses have the choice to go in or out of the stall. All eight equine are standing in their stalls out of the wicked wind chill. Its snowing tiny flakes, the beginning of the storm hit around 8:00 am this morning. Looks like this winter storm will run at least five days or more.
A blanket is like a fire extinguisher we are prepared. We only use the blanket when it is needed. A donkey has arthritis, a donkey is sick, a donkey has vet rest. Planning ahead makes the emergency or trauma a bit easier.
Donkeys evolved from the desert. Donkeys do not do well in the cold weather we must do our best to help them stay warm and healthy. Our weather is in the teens with the wind chill and this is dangerous for a donkey.
Take a look at Donkey 101 & Donkey 102 Video On Demand Training Series. Melody Johnson is a donkey behavior expert and a trainer of humans. Training the owner or caretaker to train the donkey using resistance free methods. Never abuse, or old cowboy techniques. Donkeys are smart not stubborn. Donkeys have photographic memories. If you are going to work with a donkey you must have a plan. Donkeys are game players.
Did you know donkeys die every winter from the cold? Yes.Donkeys are stoic and do not show pain until it is too late. Preparation is the key. Learning how to be a fair leader. Learning how to train the donkey to trust us to introduce new objects, places, things and people.
Donkeys evolved from the desert. Donkeys must live on a dry paddock just like the desert with limited time out on the grass. Donkeys cannot eat hay too high in sugar or protein without getting sick. Donkeys cannot stand and eat brush all day and night without getting sick. Donkeys are seriously easy keepers. If we do not pay attention to the diet the donkey will get fat, obese and develop insulin resistance, fat deposits on their neck and tummy. Once the fat roll breaks on the neck we can never fix this. All of this is preventable. Please read, research and learn how to care for the magnificent and brilliant desert equine the donkey.
Shelter is important for Donkeys
Clean water is a must. Some donkeys do not like a bucket color. Yes donkeys can see in color. Donkeys prefer clean warm water in the winter. Clean is very important. Make sure to keep a little extra hay in the slow feeder. Salt is imperative to drinking water. We chose free lose salt. No selenium in the salt if the hay has selenium. Never feed alfalfa hay to a donkey. No oats, sweet feed, breads, etc., A safe treat is 1 or 2 bites of a one carrot. Thats it. I never give a bite of a carrot for standing and looking cute. I am not a treat dispenser. I give a bite of a carrot for doing something I asked the donkey to do i.e., come to me on 10 acres when I call.
All of the donkeys and horses are snug in their stalls. They have the choice to enter or stay and today they have made the choice to stay inside. The farm is cold, along with an arctic feeling breeze. Walking out the door and looking out our windows I see the beauty of winter and thank GOD we are warm and our donkeys and horses are warm. Warm (clean) water is very important to prevent colic along with some fresh lose salt and a slow feeder with hay.
Warning signs of a donkey, mule or horse needing a blanket and your attention:
The sky has a light pink and blue tone to it as it is evening. The olympic mountains are simply a beauty for the eyes to see. Nothing in this world is as beautiful as a farm in my opinion. I love the farm. Soon it will be warm and time to cut hay again. Life on the Donkey Whisperer Farm has four-seasons. The bitter winter will end and spring will be back in full force.
Select Check The Weather On The Donkey Whisperer Farm (Weather Underground)
Thank you for reading the Donkey Whisperer Farm Blog. I enjoy sharing our little farm with the world as each of the animals and the farm is a blessing from Jesus Christ.
Today was a great day to rest, read and sit by the fireplace. 🙂
Today was such a blessing as we are finally home. Such a wonderful and beautiful day to sit and watch the snow and the fire. The Pacific Northwest is a beautiful place to get to live.
GOD bless you and your family two and four-legged!
Melody Johnson, Trainer/Owner
Donkey Whisperer Farm ®
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.
It is the season! Winter wet and spring rain may bring “Mud Fever” to your barn. Here in the Pacific Northwest USA we see it nearly every spring!!
Mud fever is a skin reaction caused by the bacteria known as ” dermatophilus congolensis” which most commonly presents itself in the soft tissue of the pastern joint. We frequently see it in donkeys who live in wet areas and are stabled in muddy paddocks and pastures. Donkeys are very prone to this skin infection because their thick hair holds moisture close to the skin. Mud Fever can also present in other areas of the body, but we suggest a daily check of your donkeys pastern and fetlock joints.
Don’t ignore mud fever! This skin disease can take off on you and proliferate into a full blown infection and inflammatory disease. If you see any signs of matted hair, crusty material or scabbing on your donkeys pasterns or anywhere on your donkeys lower limbs it is time to kick into gear! Here are our suggestions for treating Mud Fever:
** Call your Veterinarian if you find scabs that are bloody, redness and inflammation, swelling and/or discomfort!
1. Carefully clip the pastern joint area and all around the matted/ infected area. You must remove all hair! The bacteria hide in and thrive in hair.
2. Clean the area well with Nolvasan or a very, very light concentrate of Betadine Scrub. Never use straight Betadine!
3. Let the area dry well. For at least 20-30 minutes. Towel dry.
4. Apply a Mud Fever product or a high quality Zinc Oxide (Baby Diaper Cream) all over the area. Zinc Oxide is a water repellent and a healer. Do this twice a day.
5. Now the difficult one: Keep your donkey out of wet pastures and wet paddocks. Bring them into a dry barn or a stall. If you cannot do this, you must wrap the pastern/leg and keep this area dry and free of exposure to the wet elements.
There are some good products out there for Mud Fever, our favorite is” Mud Stop”. Mud Stop addresses both the bacterial infection as well as the wetness.
Good luck and remember prevention is the key, check your donkeys lower limbs daily!
NOTE: This photo represents what was discovered UNDER the hair after clipping. This needs a veterinarian’s attention!
GOD Bless You And Your Family Two And Four-Legged!
A blanket is like a fire exinguisher we hope we do not have to use it, be prepared when the emergency strikes. Melody Johnson, Donkey Whisperer Farm ®
Please watch your donkey for signs of hypothermia! By origin donkeys are desert animals and yes, they have adapted to many climates out of survival, but when temperatures get below 20 degrees, they may suffer.
Watch for shaking, tucking of the tail, standing off alone and a decrease in activity, appetite and drinking. Should you see any of these signs immediately blanket your donkey, get him/her into a warm shelter, and call your veterinarian. Hypothermia can lead to colic and even death.
Please check the blanket every day for sores etc., remove when the weather is back to raining and or the donkey is not needing stall rest per your vet. No blanket is 100% waterproof. We need to change them out and use common sense. If you have shelter, slow feeder with hay and warm water and your donkey is not shaking their fur works just fine and drys perfectly. Senior equines, donkeys with sickness can and do need our help while living in domestication. As always discuss this with your vet before the freezing wind and snow comes. Additionally remember trainig your donkey to wear a blanket should be done before the cold comes.
Domesticated Equine (donkey, horse or mule) Need Us Humans To Use Common Sense.
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 100% water proof forever, we must check the blanket for dampness. This is why we have two blankets for each donkey and horse on our farm in case of exreme weather to add a dry blanket until the rain starts again. I DO NOT BLANKET IN THE RAIN. Warm water in the winter (clean) helps donkeys drink more and lose free salt.
GOD bless you and your family two and four-legged!