It’s too dry for cows

We are having bigger problems than my dry garden this spring.

Our pastures are so dry that we are already feeding hay to the cows! Poor girls, there’s just not much to eat out there!

cows in the corner

That doesn’t stop them from trying, though. They are eaters!

hungry cows

(They have plenty of hay in another part of the pasture. They just prefer the green stuff… when there is some!)

The trouble is, our hay fields are almost as dry as the pasture. We did get a good first cutting off our clover fields in May (about 15 bales). We didn’t think we were going to get anything on a second cutting this spring, but then the clover decided to flower, which means it’s time to be cut.

clover flowers
So Farmer Doc cut the clover fields.
cutting clover hay
(Did I mention it’s a bit dry and dusty around here?)
dusty clover hay

All that work, and we only got 2 bales of hay from 10 acres of clover fields. Two. Bales.

We got 19 bales from these same fields from our first cutting, and usually get 10 bales on the second cutting.

It almost wasn’t worth the effort… But it looks like we are going to need every last bit of hay we can get this winter!

4 Comments:

  1. Wow, that sucks. It’s difficult to find the positive or upbeat, I imagine. I grew up on a beef cattle farm in northern Minnesota so I can relate a bit but I don’t remember a drought this bad. The farm is in one of those pockets that’s received most of the rains or storms coming through this spring & summer. My thoughts & prayers go out to you, your animals, your farm and the many others in these circumstances.

  2. We’re trying to keep our chins up! We’re starting to look for hay from other farms, and praying for rain! If we get some rain over the next month or two, our hayfields will start growing again and we should be in good shape. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for everyone else around here.

  3. Last drought in the 80’s, we baled soybean stubble. Cows will eat it like candy if you pour molasses on the bales. Otherwise, they’ll not eat it. Saved the milking herd, it did. Gotta have the molasses tho. Kind of smells like sweet mix.

  4. It sounds like it smells good, anyway! We’ve had a little bit of rain over the last two weeks, and our hayfields look like they might be picking back up. We’re going to have to keep an eye on everything, and start thinking outside the box for what we can use to get the girls through the winter!

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