Thursday, January 7, 2010

NOW I Know Why....

Ever wonder why cattle and goats eat so much hay in the winter?

I mean, they go from leaving half a square bale one day to wanting 3 the next.

The NERVE of some critters!

I've scoured boards, picked the minds of "old timers", and asked a few "rustlers" I know - why THEY think live stock eats more hay in the winter. All of them gave me the very same EXACT answer -

"Because it's cold out, and the critters need the extra hay to convert it to body heat...."

Yeah, yeah, sure, sure, blah. blah, blah......

I've heard it a dozen times, if not more, they need it to keep warm.... I tell ya, I ain't buying it no longer.

Wouldn't it be better if they BURROWED in it, instead of eating it? Wouldn't it act like a nice warm blanket? Trust me on this - go out to the barn on the coldest day of the year. Take a handful of hay and eat it. Does it make you feel warm?

Nope.

Now, bust a couple bales open and bury yourself in it. Makes things a whole lot more comfy, doesn't it?

Our cows, goats, sheep, and horses have had us ...ahem....."buffaloed", for decades. I finally figured out WHY they all want more food.

This morning, I grab a bale from the stack like always. It's a bale that came from part of a neighbor's field that boarders a road ditch. Now - I ain't saying nothing, but sometimes there are certain plants in this part of the country, that shouldn't aught to be growing anywhere, but happen to grow wild just about everywhere.

One of these plants is a wild form of "hemp" - commonly called "Ditch Weed" in these parts.

I'll let you contemplate as to just what kind of plant this is.....

Meanwhile - I break open the bale, toss half into the goats, and give the other half to the cows (don't worry, they both got more....).

I was just about to leave when I saw the cows fighting over part of the bale. On closer inspection, I found parts of said "ditch weed" in the mix. The goats were having a similar tussle over their half of the bale - also enriched with a little "added" goodie.

I was truly shocked and amazed. Who knew? All this time feeling sorry for "starving" critters....

Now I find out why - the hay gives them the 'munchies'....

So - you can all relax - now that the cat is out of the baggie...so to speak.

Next they'll want me to break the ice in their water tank......

Like, MOO, Dude....

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