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Welcome to mud season in Iowa or the start of the big thaw or the big flood, take your pick. We have had so much snow and with rain expected this week we are under a flood watch. With culverts and ditches still full of snow, this week will probably prove to be quite the adventure for many living in the midwest. Nothing we aren't used to dealing with, just another challenge.

I thought I would give you a little baby beef update. Baby Mouse and Baby Will (born during the polar vortex) are doing fantastic! Their momma's are taking great care of them by letting them nurse, keeping them tucked in the straw, and giving them a little quiet moo to get back in the barn when they get a little rowdy. Since I am not their mom (I'm more like the aunt that thinks everything they do is cute) I think it is hilarious when they run around with their tails in the air at mach 10. They look more like race horses than baby calves.

Chilly Willy

The other cattle that haven't come in yet (given birth) are still living the good life enjoying an area to get out of the melting snow, fresh water, and haylage. We made haylage last summer that is feeding our cows this winter, they are doing very well with it and are in great condition. Haylage is cut like hay, but not allowed to dry as much as grass hay would be when it is baled. Haylage has a moisture content of between 15 percent to a maximum of 40 percent (60 to 85 percent DM) it is baled and then it is wrapped in plastic to keep it from spoiling. When the bales are all wrapped they look like a long white worm in our field. So far, our supply of winter feed is looking great and we should have plenty, but that all depends on how quickly pastures dry up this spring. The condition of the pastures will be determine how soon the cows can get out on them and start eating grass.

Big Baby Mouse

What do you feed in the winter? Is it mud season where you live?

There you have it, the beef, from the gravel road-

Jen

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