Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2015 and has been completely updated.
Did you know that cows prefer cold weather because they’re warm-blooded. But when it’s really cold outside, how do cows stay warm in the winter?
A cow’s normal average body temperature is 102 degrees, so they prefer temperatures between 40-60 degrees.
One of the amazing features of cattle is their hair coat. In the winter, cows thick skin and hair is a natural insulator that protects them from the bitter cold. Their hairy coat grows longer and thicker in the winter. When it snows, the hair catches the snow and forms a layer over the cow. This creates an air pocket between the snow and the cow’s skin, which is then warmed by the cow’s natural body temperature of 102 degrees. Isn’t that cool?!?! That’s how cows stay warm in the winter!
The hardest condition for pasture cattle is a cold rain followed by freezing temperatures. This is usually when the cattle are brought into the barn to dry off before returning to the pasture. Especially for the new born baby calves.
As we’ve talked about before, we make hay in the summer and feed it to the cows in the winter so they have plenty of food and don’t have to dig through the snow covered ground to find grass.
Here’s what it looks like when we take a bale of hay to the cows.
And when all the work is done, we make time to play in the snow! The green Clover Meadows Beef bag the snowman is holding should look familiar to all of our customers!
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