Friday, February 3, 2017

The Red Poll Ladies

The cattle have fared well so far this winter despite a few dangerous ice storms and four of them being on diets. The two heifer calves are growing rapidly:

A hay bale lasts only two days, so on the evening of the second day I roll the bale feeder to a new location (to receive a new bale in the morning). That leaves a circle of hay where the feeder had been, making it easier for them to get what's left and also a soft, dry bed on which to spend the night:

There isn't much hay left at the end of the second day:

I don't generally let them into the barn at night, except when a really bad storm is coming:

This is Gracie. Her facial expression often looks crabby, but she is always sweet and gentle with me and doesn't seem to bother the horses at all:

A new bale, the morning after an ice storm. Scarlett and her calf were the first cattle brave (or hungry) enough to cross the ice to get to it. I spread salty sand over as much ice as I could. I also drove the tractor along an ice filled drainage ditch so the wheels would crush the ice at the bottom of it:

But it didn't take too long before the other cattle found a safe way to get to their hay. By afternoon, some of them were lounging around, chewing their cuds:

Scarlett, my most productive cow:

Did someone ring the dinner bell?

A warmer scene, during one of our snow melts:

But soon it was snowing again and little Maggie looked cold:

Tending the Red Poll girls at daybreak is an especially nice time for me. The sky often turns mixed shades of baby pink and baby blue:

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