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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Getting Ready for Bad Weather

Old Man Winter came back Sunday night with bitter cold north winds.  I did not stress out too much, because we spent all weekend preparing for this storm right at the beginning of calving season.  In addition to the usual stuff we gather for the barn, the mudroom and the people, we took advantage of the nice weather to get some other things ready.

We cleaned out the barn.  I was really wishing I could clean my house with the skid steer when I got done, but alas I couldn't take it inside.

 We moved in a couple of feed bunks and filled them with hay.
 My youngest son worked tirelessly in one pen to make the perfect calf bed and he tried it out.

Our barn is old and can be a bit drafty.  If we have a twin calf, orphan or one that needs to be separated from its mom, they get a hay palace that is insulated with hay bales.  While I hope I don't have to use it, I went ahead and built it this weekend.  Being out in extreme cold wears me out enough without having to do a lot of extra manual labor.
 When I got up to check the heifers (aka the Teenage Mothers of the Farm) at 3 am this morning, I found a tree had been blown over into the road. (I waited until daylight to take the picture.)
As soon as the boys went to school, we had a brand new calf born out in the wind.  We promptly moved her and her mother inside out of the wind for the day.  They sure liked the nice nest made of straw.
Later in the day, they were joined by a couple of others in neighboring pens.  The next morning they went out into the sunshine.  The wind had died down and they were all nice and dry and their tummies were full of milk.  Now, I need to go clean the barn and rebuild a couple of straw beds.

Our big project on Sunday was to build a wind break for the heifers.  A few of them really appreciated it yesterday, but my fingers were too cold to take a picture.  :)

After we got done with the winterizing, I went to the house to prepare for the boy's birthday party.  Luckily, they didn't request a Longhorn steer cake this year and were totally content with Cherry Cheese Pie and Not yo Mama's Banana Pudding.

Do you do anything different if a storm is coming?  Are you one of the thousands that goes to buy eggs, milk and bread or do you take more serious steps to prepare?  I would love to know!

-A Kansas Farm Mom