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Say a little prayer…

Say a little prayer for anyone and anything that has to be outside in the Midwest this week. The forecast is calling for moderate snowfall and windchills near -50* for some areas! In all honesty farmers, ranchers, livestock, and anyone that has to be out in this stuff could use our prayers.

Pray for stock that lives out in the elements. As caretakers of livestock when a storm and temperatures, like what is predicted, is on its way we will bed sheds with corn stalk bales or straw. This gives the animals bedding that will help keep them warm and dry when they are in their sheds. When I was a kid we would often use corn cobs for bedding. I remember helping my dad spread the cobs around with the manure spreader to give the cows something dry to lay on, thinking about it now I bet they are happy we have advanced to corn stalks. I would bet they are a bit more comfortable. 🙂

Prayer specifically for tank heaters, electric waters, and pipes keep functioning in these extreme temperatures. With the temperatures that are predicted things just break. They aren't accustomed to the frigid temps, just like us!

Another thing we do when prepping for a storm and cold is make sure our animals have plenty of hay to eat and water to drink. We want to keep them a comfortable as possible and having plenty of the essentials will do just that.

This heifer is neck deep in a bale of haylage.

Another important thing we try to do is help the animals get out of the wind. As you can see (in the picture above) our cattle can get into the shed (that has bedding) to get a break from the wind. This isn't always possible for all livestock owners so many times wind blocks are built with hay bales, groves of trees, or even windbreak panels.

And sometimes... you just make a middle of the night decision to move a heifer that is due during this predicted storm to a warmer building than what you have available. Yes, at 11:00 PM on Saturday we decided to move her and our daughters heifer and calf. Thank the Good Lord that they cooperated, they walked on the trailer like it is part of their every day life and walked off of the trailer and into box stalls like nobody's business. It was almost comical.

The big girl is due with her first cal of Jan. 28th

Since they are in a nice warm area these two girls and baby have no clue that is snowing and blowing outside right now. The bonus? We get some warm playtime with this cutie!

Mr. Mouse
"Kisses for Grace"- Mouse's momma was Grace's breeding heifer for 4-H last year so she is calm as can be with us playing with her baby.

How do you prepare for a winter storm or these crazy temperature predictions? Anything special you do for your "herd" or tribe? And again, if you would, please say a little extra prayer for everyone.

From the Gravel Road,


20 thoughts on “Say a little prayer…

  1. Val - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids

    I am so thankful that we keep our pigs inside barns, especially when temperatures get so cold. Prayers for all livestock and their caretakers. I know this is the time of year that a lot of lambs and calves are being born so prayers that all babies are born inside where they are warm and protected!

    1. admin

      Our heifer we were expecting to calve came in tonight on her due date. I told Rob, what first time mom doesn't want to give birth on her due date? 🙂 We had to pull it, but she tried real hard on her own.

  2. Kim G

    This weather has been so crazy lately, especially for those of you in the Midwest! I live in CT so we've only had a few sub-zero days and I feel very thankful for that. I think it's supposed to be "warming up" for everyone pretty soon - thank goodness!

  3. Jenn

    Oh, gosh. Sending so many warm thoughts to you all.

    So I live in NE Florida, where we will get a hard freeze, but nothing at all like what you are experiencing. Yes, it's cold for us because we're not used to it, but I can't even imagine what you are going through.

    I would totally move the animals into my house if I was there, if possible. No shame in that game, and besides, more bodies, more warmth for everyone!

    Stay warm. Stay safe. I hope the end is in sight.

    1. admin

      I remember as a kid bringing baby calves into the bathtub in our house to warm them up, sometimes they are just so cold that even their mommas can't get them warm. It was always pretty fun when we got to bring them in. 🙂

  4. Elaine

    Praying that your loved ones (humans and animals) were safe and comfortable this past week. Looks like you know exactly what to do to care for yours.

  5. The Accidental Marathoner

    We live in an area southwest of Chicago with lots of wildlife - deer, coyotes, raccoons, foxes, possums, skunks, squirrels - you name it. I did mention this week to my husband that I feel so sorry for them with nowhere to go. I'm sure many did not survive our 50 below windchill. So good of you to take care of your animals during these ice cold temps!

    1. admin

      I bet those wild animals are pretty resourceful. They are smart they probably found places to get tucked in. 🙂


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