Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Red Poll Girls In Winter

Despite all my whining and complaining about this rugged winter, the Red Poll girls have not seemed to mind it very much:

In fact, they've chosen to sleep outdoors on spilled hay most nights. This, by the way, is Rosella, born August 1st. She's no longer little but is still nursing as well as eating hay and grain. It's no wonder she's grown so fast. By the way, you can see the milk on her muzzle in this photo:

The cows are eating more hay now and I have to put out a new, 1000 pound bale every 1 to 4 days:

Some hay bales are frozen solid so I don't put the bale feeder around them. This allows the cattle to pick them apart from all angles. That silver ring in the background is the bale feeder on its side:

But they still like their bedding hay more than their feed hay. To combat that, I began hauling feed hay in from outside and spreading it on the barn floor:

Rosella looks rather petite in this photo, but she is not. The picture is deceiving. She has, however, begun to let me pet her and rub her ears and neck - but only while she's eating grain. She's decided that it's not so bad to be touched after all:

Their winter coats are not long but apparently get thicker for the cold weather. Their hair looks more brown than red in the winter, but my camera seems to pick up the red anyway:

Except on the most extreme days, I clean the manure out of the barn just before noon. Then I close the door to keep the cows out and spread clean bedding hay on the floor. On the most extremely cold, windy days, I just let them stay indoors:

I've also been giving them extra hay bales during really cold days, and all of it now goes on the east side of the barn for protection from the wind. Most of the wind comes from the west:

I love it when the girls present to me this calm, beatific face and chew their cuds. That tells me they are happy to see me and are feeling safe and healthy:

One problem is that they are not afraid of the tractor. I have to be careful not to hit them with it:

Life is good if you are a pampered Red Poll - except, of course, for the extra cold, windy days and nights:

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