Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Winter What?!

If I gave you one word to describe Nebraska weather I can assure you that list woudln't include; consistent, lovely, or stable. I don't know if there even is one right word. This makes dairy farming in Nebraska quite interesting!

Last week on Wednesday afternoon it started snowing here (Thank God!). It snowed all through evening chores and I thought nothing special of it. About 10:45 pm on Wednesday we lost power at our house and farm. Now this really an uncommon occurance, usually it goes back on by morning. However Thursday morning us kids got a wake up call from dad to get our butts to the farm. I walked over eyeing a few of the big drifts in front of our house,they were only about 3.5 ft tall (we only got about a 1 ft total), and I didn't think too much of that. But that wasn't the problem, the electricity wasn't back on yet!

The heifers do like to frolic in the snow

That doesn't seem like a big deal but on a dairy farm the electricity plays a very important role. When there is no electricity our milk parlor, the bulk tank (where the milk is cooled and stored), the heat lamps that keep the cow waters from freezing,  and the tractors that are plugged into outlets so they stay warm to start in the morning, all those don't work! But of course we're prepared for that, dad had the generator started by 6 am Thursday morning.

 But unfortunately that didn't solve all of our problems. My family spent the about 6 hours that morning doing chores, thawing waters, scooping snow off the drive ways , feed bunks, and  calf hutches, also bedding down cows/calves with straw and sand

All the snow in front of the hutch calves had to be scooped out  
This little heifer decided to brave the snow outside her hutch
before we cleaned it out

Bedding down one of the heifer barns with a cornstalk bale

We know that when dad calls with orders to get to the farm you dress quick, giving no thought to breakfast or yourself,  COWS COME FIRST! It's just the way it is and we all agree on that.

Thawing the cow water with the Knipco.

Unfortunately this wasn't a quickly fixed problem, we were without electricity for about 48 hours. Life at the farm went on as normal but our house (not powered by the generator) was not real lovely. It was cold and and dark. We all agreed that it was nicer at the farm with the cows than it was in our house!

We spent a lot of our free time in the milk barn because it was a nice 65 degrees in there
It was a long two days but it all worked out and we were happy to know that our cows were comfortable and taken care of!

No comments:

Post a Comment