Tuesday, July 19, 2011


We knew it would happen. It was happening everywhere else and we were so surprised it hadn't happened yet.

Dead livestock.

This darn heat.

I'm so sick of it.  You just walk outside and you are instantly wet.  I wiped sweat from my face and eyes so much yesterday that my cheeks and around my mouth are chapped and every time I do it again my face stings.  I worked out in the garden this morning until I couldn't stand it anymore.  Yesterday I pushed myself too hard and paid for it last night with an aching head. 

I heard the town about 25 miles from us on the national news last night for having the highest heat index in the state.  30 miles into South Dakota they were digging big holes for dead cattle with pay loaders and excavators.  500 head died.

Thank God that we had so much rain previously so that the cattle could go in the muck like a burrowing hog in mud...I know it saved some lives for sure. 

Ron went and sprayed them down right now, something we are so on the fence about since we didn't want them to either shock their systems or give them pneumonia with it hot and cold and hot and cold.  Did you know extreme heat and humidity can be worse than cold on an animal?  What's the answer?  They will be right back to seething hot within minutes...then wet as well. 

Ron went out this morning and found the first dead one.  A Charolais heifer.  We have been checking on them every hour and at 11 discovered one calving of all things.  She was too miserable to even push, I got in there knowing it was dead and slipped a chain around it's neck behind it's ears and got Ron to pull the chain and I found a leg and pulled on it.  We got it out and I gave her some penicillin.  The calf was a little bull calf.  She wasn't even bagged up yet. 

Around three we rode the four wheeler down to the pens and found another dead one.  This one on the back side of the lots.  She probably wandered down there thinking it would be better down there since there's quite a bit of vegetation, but there must not have been enough air flow.  Ideally you don't want them to move. 

Our owner has called every couple hours wondering how his cattle are.  Another lot where he has some cattle told him there's no wind and the heat index is 120 degrees.  His brother has cattle where they lost 35 head in the last two days. We sure feel fortunate. 

Well, sorry this blog doesn't have a bright spot in it.  I did say when I first started out that I was going to drag my readers along with the good, the bad and the ugly.  But I will leave you with a cute photo of Big D and Levi making the rounds with our animals. 

Happy trails we'll talk when 80 degrees feels cool enough to wear a light sweater. 
Overheated Farmgirl


  1. Oh Suzanne, how worrisome. I know cattle cannot stand the heat. Especially in the north country. They cannot cool themselves down. They don't sweat. We have lost 4 bigbsteers in the feedlot. Don't get yourself so overheated. Too many people love and need you! Xoxo. Terah

  2. I have always said that the heat of summer is harder on me that winter. I am all with the cattle. UGH.. So sorry that you have to deal with this. It is a big worry.