The last rain came through our grazing lands near Christmas, but this morning a new storm arrived. Forecasters said that up to a half-inch per hour will be drenching the Hayfork Valley through Monday, with winds up to 50 miles per hour.
That’s a lot of water in a short period of time, and although humans are able to cope with creeks overflowing, flash floods, rock slides, and washed-out roads for a few days, it can be challenging for cattle and sheep, if they get soaked.
Mammals are inherently equipped to deal with extreme weather. Within a range of certain temperatures, their body does not need to use any energy to stay warm or cool. But keeping cattle protected from winter weather is important, because a combination of cold, wind, and rain can be deadly.
We’ll be taking steps to ensure our animals are out of the wind, and if natural windbreaks (trees, draws, etc.) aren’t available, we’ll take steps to make permanent or portable windbreaks, because portable panels are good options for maintaining cattle in relatively open country.
Once the wind is blocked, we’ll need to take steps to combat moisture. If rain has our animals wet all the way to the skin, bedding may be necessary to help keep our animals dry, and we’ll try to get as many animals into our barns as possible.
In the meantime, stay safe, warm, and dry, neighbors! We’ll check back in on Monday…