Farmers have to worry about their animals. If they don’t adequately protect them from the elements, then the animals will die. Because farmers rely on their animals for their livelihood, it is a matter of life and death for farmers to make sure their animals are protected and cared for properly. But when it comes to protecting calves from the dangers of frostbite, there is a particularly adorable way farmers go about doing it that will bring a smile to your face.
Cattle farmers might seem like a lot of tough guys, but as this image shows, they’re actually rather in touch with their animals and the critters’ wellbeing. One Twitter user by the name of Cans Moleman shared a tweet that came with a picture showing one calf with a pinky, crocheted hat on its head, used to help protect its ears from frostbite.
Because Cans took time to crochet his own earmuffs for his calf, the picture quickly garnered a lot of likes and shares. But he is not the only cattle farmer who goes to great lengths to protect the cattle on their land. Another followed up Cans’ picture with another one showing a cute, pink-nosed calf with a set of blue earmuffs on its head.
Dr. W. Dee Whittier has written extensively about the issue in a paper published with the title Calves and the Cold.
Dr. Whittier wrote: “Frostbite is the damage to body tissues that occurs when these tissues freeze. The extremities are most at risk. Frozen ears and tails result in changes in cattle appearance but do not affect cattle performance significantly. Frozen feet generally result in a calf that must be put to sleep or will die. Occasionally teats of a recently calved cow freeze resulting in mastitis and frequently loss of milk production in at least one-quarter of the udder.”
Calves are vulnerable to the elements. Their ears and feet are in danger more than other parts of their bodies. So you’ll see cattle farmers using protective elements on those extremities.
“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,” Dr. Whittier wrote.”
When it comes to calves being at risk, it all depends on the weather conditions.
“Wind is often the biggest factor. 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 farmers are just doing their best to protect the calves, these images sure are cute.
Which one did you find particularly adorable? Have you ever seen a calf with earmuffs on before?
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