Last week I told you some of the things I love about having cows.
I promised I would tell you six things that I do every day (or almost every day) with my cows.
A post about taking care of all the animals would be very long so this one is just about having a cow, and what I do every day, or almost every day.
Feeding the Cows: Minerals
Cows get fed every day. My cows get fed every day. Some people put a whole bunch of hay out for their cows and only check on them once a week or so. That works for big herds of cows.
My cows are a little like my pets so I like to feed and check on them every day.
They get a little bit of grain every day with some minerals in it. Minerals are a little like vitamins. They are an important way to keep animals healthy. It’s easier to feed minerals to the cows in their feed.
Do you eat gummy vitamins? Vitamin gummies are an easy way for you to get your vitamins.
Grain isn’t enough food for the cows each day.
Feeding the Cows: Hay
They also get alfalfa hay cubes. My friend gives her rabbit a hay cube about once a week, too!
The hay comes in big bags that we move into the barn with a tractor. Hay cubes in bags is much easier to move than bales of hay. Each cow gets one bucket of cubes per day. Each bucket weighs about 25 pounds.
Some cows eat more food than others. Ours don’t eat very much and they stay healthy!
Bales of hay are 60-80 pounds each. It takes a lot of work to unload them and put them in the barn. Cubes are much easier.
The cows love the cubes! They love hay, too. They don’t really care if I give them cubes or regular hay. My cows are easy going
Cows drink a lot of water every day.
I fill up this big barrel with water every other day. I check it every day to make sure they still have water.
The metal circle in the bottom is a heater. It’s so cold right now that their water would be one big ice cube. Cows don’t like to chew on ice cubes. They like their water drinkable. Cows can drink 30 gallons of water a day!
I try to clean up after my cows every day. Some days get busy and I have to do it every other day.
Cows poop a lot! They pee a lot! They make a mess in their shelter.
I want them to have a dry place to stand and sleep, so I try to keep their stall pretty clean.
I also try to clean the muck out of their pen once a week or so. We use a lot of wood chips to soak up the muck.
All the manure and yucky mucky wood chips go into piles by the back fence. It sits all winter and turns into lovely mulch and dirt for our garden in the spring.
I don’t have to put in new wood chips and shavings every day. Most of the time I just pick out the manure and the yucky stuff.
Today I needed to add more wood chips and wood shavings. The shavings are the light fluffy stuff on top of the wood chips. If we can find wood shavings from a carpenter, we use those because they are free! Free is fun for our farm!
We don’t have a cow that is giving milk right now. When we do, I have to milk her every day.
It takes a lot of time to milk a cow, even when I have a milker. I have to get things set up, clean off the cow, milk the cow, and put the milk in containers. I also need to clean the milker when I’m done.
Hopefully Stormy and MissE will have calves next September. We are looking forward to cow milk again!
Yes, I make sure I pet and hug my cows every day. They like it! They think that humans are wonderful.
Look at that cute cow face!
I also check on my cows each evening to make sure they are okay before heading to bed.
We get a calf almost every year! Sometimes the calf is born to one of the mama cows on our farm. Sometimes the calf is born somewhere else and we buy it and raise it.
This is MissE’s baby picture. She was born to Echo. We raised her on a bottle so she would be very friendly.
Our cows are usually so friendly that they like to protect and take care of the little lambs that we get in the spring.
Cows are wonderful! They are also a lot of work. We love them and we’re so glad we have the room to have them here on our farm.