FAQ: How to do the cattle stay warm outside in the winter?
Last week we mentioned a price freeze and despite our "udderly" balmy weather today I thought it was a good time to answer an FAQ:
---->>> How do the cattle stay warm when we don't have a barn for them to go into every day??
Beef cows are a warm-blooded mammal like us and have an internal temp of 101°F they are trying to maintain.
In the cold they maintain that body temp with a layer of fat, thicker skin, thicker hair and through eating.
How through eating??
Unlike us a cow's stomach has 4 compartments specially designed to squeeze out every drop of nutrition from plants that would otherwise go straight through and eventually starve a single-compartment stomached animal like us.
Note that fermentation is the cow's super power which we take advantage of through our regenerative agriculture systems - leave the grain for the others!
The food fermenting in the rumen (the first compartment of a cow's stomach) releases gas, aka microbe farts, which keeps the cow warm. 🔥 So if she wants to warm up, she just needs to eat more!
The ideal temperature range for a cow is 25 - 65°F. Between these two temps she's basically living her best life and eating as she sees fit.
🥶 However, if the temp goes below about 20°F, then she just needs to eat more hay (dried grass) to crank up her internal furnace, aka create more microbe farts. So she doesn't even notice she's getting cold until it's below 20°F outside!
Andy wishes I worked this way - now that we have the wood stove in the house, anything below 68°F for me and I'm shivering....despite my caloric intake & farts. 😂
But if we have a cold winter that means more hay is going through her to warm her from the inside out. Have you ever bought hay? It's expensive. So when it gets cold just imagine us starting little individual campfires for all the cattle by burning money. Goodbye money. 💸💸💸
🥵 On the opposite end, if it gets above 68°F they can start to feel heat stress and then they will eat less to turn the temp down which is bad news for putting on fat - it's hard to gain weight on grass if you can't eat because it's making you hot.
Bottom line: cattle are usually pretty comfortable in Wisconsin (suck it California!) and when they aren't we spend a lot of money on heating and cooling to keep them in their happy place....we're like amazing sacrificial landlords for a 100 tiny houses.
Eating our food won't necessarily warm you up physically (although figuratively your heart will be filled with warmth for all the good you are doing 💚) but with our home delivery you can at least stay cozy inside and let us bring the good stuff to you!
Wishing you health, happiness and warmth!