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  • Writer's pictureLeith MacKenzie

July 2020

Are you ready for the heat wave? Just be glad you’re not a cow, they are not big fans of the heat. Animals that are super happy outside on a 20 degree winter day don’t do so well when it gets up into the 90’s Luckily it’s so dry that it doesn’t feel as hot as it could. They spend as much time as possible bunched up in the shade swatting at flies.

Another perk of the dry weather is way less flies to bother the cows. The flies need moist organic matter to lay their eggs in. That’s hard to find right now. This picture is at 10:00 am right before getting moved. I can usually entice them out in the morning, and don’t move them again until it cools off in the evening.

Beef cows and calves clustered together in the shade

Here they are a few minutes later. They will eat for about an hour and then go back to the shade.

Beef cows out grazing in a grassy field

The sheep do much better in the heat with their lower body mass. They rarely seem to be phased by the heat, but they do get cold in winter weather that won’t bother a cow. This picture was taken around 2pm right when it was nice and hot. They are out and about eating.

Sheep grazing in a weedy pasture

The area these sheep are grazing is part of a wildlife management area up the road from the farm a little ways. The managers asked if I would be interested in grazing it and mowing it periodically to keep them from having to do it. It’s pretty weedy right now but the sheep are pretty happy grazing it as long as you don’t make them clean it up to much.

Closer view of sheep grazing in a weedy pasture

Thanks for reading,

Leith MacKenzie


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