Questions and Answers – October 2013 Edition

Let’s go!

Marilyn:  Question: your dogs expend a LOT of energy when they are working. What do you feed them for optimum nutrition?

Marilyn, I feed Loyall dog food and usually they are on just the Maintenance.  If there is going to be tons of work, I’ll buy their Active Adult which has higher protein.  I’m not scared to feed them the raw diet, which they get occasionally, and they’ll get leftovers as well.  Sometimes I add extras like eggs and milk or even K9 Restart to help them recover.  After Lucas’ close call with exertional rhabdomyolysis, I keep a better eye on how hard they’re working and in what conditions.  Nothing like a baby aspirin hidden in some cheese after a hard day!  (I am not paid for these promotions… they do not know who I am!)

Tara: My only question i have is this.. was there a way to save these cows (in the Atlas blizzard) in the sense take them to the butcher? or is there only so long before that can be done? sorry if i sound heartless.. but for some strange reason that was the one thing that popped into my head, and of course you can’t just ask a random person this.. again TY for the post, and for allowing people to ask other questions.

Tara, that’s a logical assumption… the cows are dead, they’re frozen, what’s wrong with frozen meat?  Well… yes, the cows died, but if you don’t gut an animal immediately after death, internal gases start building up.  If you’ve ever smelled something recently dead… you know how nasty that is!  It is the gases that make the carcass swell up and putrify.  (Sorry if anyone is reading this with their morning coffee!)  Although it was cold enough to snow, I don’t think it was cold enough for long enough to actually freeze them through and through.  Snow can actually be a good insulator.  A cow is a BIG animal and just freezing the outside layers wouldn’t protect enough of the meat to make it satisfactory for human consumption.  If you’d been right there as she died, gutted her on the spot, and hung her up to bleed out, yes, you could have eaten her after letting her “age” in the cool air.  It was a good question, and I’m glad you asked it.

Carol:  So…how do they deal with all the dead cattle? Seems like an overwhelming and heartbreaking job due to the vastness of this disaster.

Carol, I’m not sure on that.  My guess would be digging a large pit to bury them in on each ranch.  I don’t imagine any rendering plant could handle that many cattle.  I do know that they are asking ranchers to save eartags and photograph the losses for future reference.  Has anyone else heard?  Are there special instructions due to the large losses?  Please share!

Kris:  I have a question! I was looking at the information on the top bar hive, and it mentions that we need to be encouraging wild bees. Is there any chance that bees will just find the hive and colonize it?

Chances are slim, although I did leave it out where they could find it, should a swarm go by!  My “free range” bees could be considered wild now, I suppose. 😉  I saw a swarm years and years ago… before I knew anything, so they do happen around here.  I’d love to have one come by next spring!  I plan on ordering more bees, plus another hive.  A veteran bee keeper told me to always have an extra hive for just that possibility!

Thanks, everyone, for your questions!  If this has sparked some curiosity, look for the Questions and Answers tab at the top of this page.  It’ll take you to all my Q&A Sessions (well, the ones I have transferred over so far – a work still in progress!)  You might like it!

See you tomorrow with a Minute Movie for your enjoyment!


Questions and Answers – October 2013 Edition — 8 Comments

  1. About disposing of the dead cattle – I read about this in the RC paper:

    Ranchers who lost cattle will be able to dispose of the carcasses for free at several pits being dug in Pennington County, according to the county’s Emergency Operations Center. The county is coordinating the effort because the U.S. Farm Service Agency is closed during the shutdown.

    • Thanks, Marcia. Reminds me of the story from M., whose house I now live in, when she described the big pit the government dug during the Great Depression. They drove their cattle into it and killed them. It was the government’s way of driving up beef prices. Oh, how she cried.

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