Too cold to De-Ice

It’s cold

We have been having some tough weather.  It was so nice through January.

Then it hit us and we have had lots of snow and this last week bitter cold.  24 below in Ryegate actual temp.  Luckily we didn’t have much wind.  The livestock on our little place are very well protected from the wind with lots of brush and trees, and I bought some cheap small squares that the top of the stack is really good for bedding so I have bedded the heck out of em.  They get all they want to eat and a little more.

My barn cats have been worrying me. So I took a electric dog bed warmer and put a box over it and a saddle blanket and they are warm and cozy.

I really like taking care of animals with no thought to profit when it’s terrible conditions for them.  I get out there with em and make sure they are all right, and actually it makes me feel better when I have to suffer a little from the cold because they do it and can’t get out of it.

If they have lots to eat and their rumen is working, they actually have like a furnace inside their body to create heat from the inside out.  This is why they can take so much cold if they are out of the wind and not wet.

The ones I feel bad for are the baby calves that are being born.  They are coming out of a 100 degree environment into a -zero environment and have not had anytime for acclimation to the difference.  They don’t have a winter hair coat and the same rumen activity so they really suffer.  If you put the bulls in at a certain time to calve in these conditions, I think you need to have the facilities and the manpower to take care of these newborns (all livestock).  If you don’t and calves freeze to death or their ears and lungs freeze, who caused it?  You had the control.  I think it’s something we all need to look at as an animal care issue.  Have you ever heard of the “five Freedoms” for animal welfare?

I’m not saying to not calve or lamb at this time, I’m saying have the infrastructure and help to get it done with the five freedoms in mind.  

I am feeding lots of deer right now, and they are free choice eating my good second cutting alfalfa hay.  I don’t see any new baby’s  with them.

I went to the ranch to check on things and turn the heat up in the main and the guest house.  It was really beautiful just after the sun went over the Bridges Mountains.  When it is real cold like this it seems everything is crisp and it comes right through the pictures.


I spent the night in Bozeman/Belgrade near the airport.  It was 32 below this morning.  I was supposed to have a flight at 6:30 to Chicago.  They loaded us up and it was cold on the plane as they had no heat until the engines got going.

Well they couldn’t get the engines going and we sat on plane for about an hour.

People demanded to get off so we unloaded.  

It was to cold to de-ice and nothing was working.  We finally got out of Bozeman at about 10:30.  It was interesting to see how much the equipment was affected by the cold and the people out working in it.  

I missed my flight to Syracuse, but United had me another one booked and I got upgraded to first class where I’m writing this from, so it all worked out for me, just getting in a little later.

It’s going to be cold in  New York as well.  I sure hope it warms up, for the animals.

3 thoughts on “Too cold to De-Ice

  1. Sharon Gulley

    Hi Curt, we have a neighbor who feeds the elk along with his cows in winter; he says the elk take care of all his vacations in the fall, so he feels responsible. Love this guy.

  2. the south dakota cowgirl

    It’s miserable for everyone. Makes me so glad we don’t calve until May 1. The cows are sick of the snow and cold, the horses are sick of the cold and snow, and I think at this point most of us are cranky about it too! Stay safe and warm!

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