Saturday, January 2, 2010


FROZEN: that pretty much describes our day today. Everything is FROZEN. Last night we had temperatures at -31. Today's high temperature was -11. Yep, we didn't even get close to going above zero! The milking cow barn was pretty frozen this morning. The cold air almost instantly froze the humid breath coming from our cows. Frost covered the entire inside of our barn and even dusted the cows. The parlor floor, which is heated, couldn't keep up with the cold air and started to form ice in the back of the parlor. Warm piles of cow manure even froze to the ground.

We had to work extra hard to remove frozen cow pies from the barn. The silage that we feed the cows with is even frozen now! The silage was 70 degrees going into the silage bag but now it's frozen. Each "ball" of frozen silage needs to be broken with the skid loader before being mixed with in the TMR and fed to the cows. We also dried off the teat dip (iodine and skin conditioners) from the cows this morning before the cows could leave the milking parlor. This makes sure that the dip doesn't freeze and cause the skin on the teats to crack. We use a dip with a higher level of skin conditioners to make sure the skin stays soft and smooth. We also moved a couple heifers that are close to calving (any minute now) into the old dairy barn-keeping them warm and dry so they also are free of frost bite. In temperatures like this it is critical that we make sure that we prevent any frost bite: good homes, dry bedding, heating where needed, dry teats and ears.....yet another day on a Minnesota Dairy Farm!

The calves are doing well though! Those calf huts do a great job of keeping the calves cozy and warm. Even though it's cold outside, the wind isn't blowing-thank goodness! As a result, the heifers came out this afternoon for an exciting romp in the snow. It was so fun to watch-I wish I would have had my camera close by to record their silliness.

Above zero is looking like a heat wave right now!


  1. I'm rather surprised you guys don't use the powered winter dip up there. We use it here and I'm in southern Missouri.

    Have you had maybe some bad luck with it?

    Sara... who thought she was freezing at 6 above for a low. :)

  2. We have used powdered was ok, but it dried out teat ends out so badly after extended use that we decided to stick with higher emolient based dips. We love iodine based dips for our pack barn but we have tried other winter weather dips before-none as successful as iodine.


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