Friday, November 8, 2013

Fall on the farm

Fall is a great time of year. In most places, it's not too hot, not too's just right. Plus, the leaves are turning, which makes for some scenic drives. It's also harvest maybe give yourself some extra time if you are traveling on those back country roads so you can enjoy the scenery instead of being in a hurry should you encounter some farm equipment.

My brother can point out varieties of crops that I have no idea what they are. While crops are important, cows are what I love to see.

There are so many ways to effectively manage cows. Some are out on pasture, some are in comfortable barns and some have a bit of both worlds. After spending a few years in the eastern part of the country with this thing they call humidity (new concept for this west coast girl), I have a new appreciation for barns that make cow comfort a priority--and many of them do. In fact, many times the coolest place on the farm on a hot day is in the barn with the fans and misters and ventilation. That's definitely where I'd want to be all day long. Those cows are lucky. Cows out on pasture also find a cool place in the shade near trees or other structures in the pasture to stay comfortable.

Speaking of cool temperatures, my idea of the weather being cold and a cow's idea of the same weather is different. Growing up, 45-50 was an average winter day (I'm realizing now I was a bit spoiled with this mild weather). 45 still was a bit chilly. Even though I'd be all bundled up in a warm jacket, the cows always seem to love laying out in the sun...even when it's 40 or 45 degrees. Cows are most comfortable when the temperature is between approximately 40 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. For more about how farmers reduce heat and cold stress for their cows, check out this blog post. Bottom line: my idea of cold and my cow's idea of cold is not the same. She may be a bit tougher than me when it comes to dealing with the cold.

But, when I'm driving by, it's always nice seeing cows out on pasture. Cows love fall, too. They love cooler temperatures so I'm sure if they could talk they would tell you how happy they are this time of year.

I'm also sure that if these cows could talk, they would encourage you to pick up an extra gallon of milk (why not make that chocolate milk?) and ice cream or yogurt on your way home tonight.

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