Keeping cows cozy in the cold

Photo provided by staff.
All About Animals

POSTED: Monday, January 6, 2014 - 5:45pm

UPDATED: Monday, January 6, 2014 - 10:57pm

You're probably prepared for the cold along with your pets, but what about those animals that provide us with things we eat or in this case drink every day?

These cows provide a lot of the milk we drink here in Louisiana. So it's important the farmers make sure their girls don't get too cold this week.

Most of you are familiar with Sweetie Pie. She's the face of Kleinpeter. Sweetie along with 1,200 of her friends produce more than 30,000 gallons of milk a day, and that's a lot work. So, what happens when the weather gets too cold?

"I've been here around the clock starting at 6:00 yesterday afternoon after having worked all day taking care of the cows and seeing that all these preparations were underway," Mike Price, farm manager at Kleinpeter Dairy, said.

First, it starts off with putting a special liquid on their utters.

"It helps protect the cows from the sub-freezing weather, prevents them from getting frostbite," Price explained. "We do all these things to ensure that our cows don't suffer through any of this."

Most people would be miserable eating outside, but these girls aren't miserable at all. They're actually eating extra, and remember, it's like they're wearing leather coats.

"Their hair tends to stand up, and it gets fluffy looking," Price said. What that does, it creates and holds air that creates insulation for the cow, and it helps to keep her warm."

Besides keeping them dry and providing warm bedding for the cows, they stay pretty comfortable in cold, but the most important thing is something we all need... water.

"Well one of the things to consider is it takes about 125 gallons of water a day for each milk cow, so that's a lot of water," Price said. "Getting all of the water lines prepped. Make sure they're all running and that known of the lines freeze up. That way we can provide a constant flow of good, clean, and fresh water for our girls."

The farm has nearly 150 water tanks to make sure the cows are well-hydrated.

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