Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Storm Mothers

The storm is here. 

It has been snowing steady all day and this prelude to the "big" storm has already dumped 10 inches.  The "big" storm is expected to bring 20-24 additional inches.

The frozen tank, pump and hose of yesterday is just a bad memory now as I worry about the hoop barn collapsing under the extreme weight of all this white stuff.    

As I ponder how the next 2 days may play out, the cows are already following their tried and true natural storm plan:

1. Eat as much as you can and chew your cud carefully.

2. No matter where you are or what you are doing, feed the babies.

3. Seek shelter.

When the babies are hungry they must be fed.  Mothers must eat more in order to feed their babies in a storm.

Babies will drink more in a storm, so moms must eat, chew, and nurse more often.

As the "blankets of snow" piled up on the devoted mother cows

Calves were seeking out their moms with more frequency and more urgency.

Such patient mothers these cows are.  They stop in their tracks when their calves nudge them for milk. Even with freezing temperatures, high winds, blinding snow and downpours of cold rain.  

 They never refuse. They stand as stoic statues in the snow.

There was a steady stream of mother cows bringing their calves up for a drink from the water tub before going back to the hoop barn to get out of the wind.

Usually theses calves come drink alone, but tonight they were guided by their moms who wanted them to eat hay, drink water and retreat back to the hoop barn without mischief.

And a few moms stopped at the hay rack to gourge themselves one more time, before heading to the barn, so they can continue to nurse their calves thru the night during the storm.

All along the storm path, through 26 states, every "mom" is doing the same thing.


  1. I really enjoyed reading about the mom and calves. I so hope your hoop barn holds up to all that snow! Will be keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers!

  2. While we are in a deep freeze, we have not snow. We keep hearing on the news just how much snow and bad weather you all are expecting. It is amazing how the live stock manage to survive such adverse conditions--you an amazing job of explaining. stay warm. cheers. ann

  3. What wonderful mothers your cows are. It is so stinking cold. I don't know how they can stand it. I'm sure all that hay helps then greatly. Stay safe, more snow and ice tonight.

  4. Hope you fare okay in the mess. What a year it has been for you! Sending prayers your way.


  5. Is that a canvas shelter you have up? My dad has one of those at his place in Pennsylvania, and I can't help but think that the wind would tear it to pieces here in Colorado. How's it working out for you?