Farmers Are Protecting Calves From Frostbite With Earmuffs
Despite the fact the world has just experienced its hottest June on record, it was only a few short months ago we were all shivering and pleading for summertime to come around.
And it’s not just us humans who feel the effects of the chilly weather – just think of all the animals living outdoors during the harsh realities of winter. But it turns out some clever farmers have got a handy little way of protecting their animals from frost bite, and it comes in the form of your grandma’s knitting.
Farmers far and wide are giving their calves ear muffs to help protect them against harsh weather and it’s without a doubt the cutest thing you’ll lay your eyes on this week.
The reason we’re all chatting about the cattle fashion trend now – in the midst of a European heatwave – is because Twitter user @ThisFarmingMan_ shared an adorable photo of a young calf wearing baby pink knitted earmuffs and it has since gained an impressive 171,000 likes.
So it turns out ear muffs for calves to stop them getting frostbite are a real thing…
Obviously, it looks adorable, but it’s actually pretty important to protect young calves from cold because it it can easily lead to frostbite, hypothermia and in extreme cases, even death for the animals too.
Dr W Dee Whittier wrote in a paper called Calves and the Cold, explaining:
The extremities are most at risk. Frozen ears and tails result in changes of cattle appearance but do not affect cattle performance significantly. Sadly, if a calf’s feet freeze, it must be put to sleep or it will die.
Newborn calves are most at risk because they are wet and because they have a large surface area in relation to their total body mass. Calves are not fully capable of maintaining temperature the first several hours of life. Newborn calves have a circulatory system that is less able to respond to cold changes as compared to more mature animals.
Weather conditions have a huge bearing on how big of a risk there is of frostbite, with wind being the biggest attribute.
Dr Whittier said:
The effect of wind is often referred to as wind chill and tells how living things ‘feel the temperature.’ Wind chill is often many degrees colder than the actual temperature. Humidity has a large effect on cold as well since humid air can take more warmth away from animals.
While we’re experiencing a heatwave in the northern hemisphere, moo never know when the weather will turn.
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CreditsVA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine