Do you love the fall weather as much as I do? With autumn here, it brings changing leaves, hot coffee, apple cider donuts, and pumpkin spice smells.

Not only do we tend to love this season, but cows do as well! Fall starts to bring cooler temperatures that cows love and if cows are comfortable, they will produce more milk and tend to live longer.

A couple ways in which farmers ensure cow comfort is by installing ventilation systems throughout their barns, giving them clean and dry bedding frequently, having non-slip flooring, and providing them a high-quality and balanced diet.

Ventilation systems provide cows with fresh, clean air. Ventilation moves air from outside of the barn inside the barn and circulates it about. Farmers can use fans and other methods to achieve this.

Cows spend most of their time eating and laying down. It is important that cows are comfortable when they go to rest. Farmers make sure their cows are cozy by giving them nice clean stalls that can be bedded with straw, chopped bedding, sand or sawdust. Some farms even have waterbeds in their barns for their cows!

Non-slip flooring is essential, especially because cows are active. In freestall barns, cows can get up and walk around freely throughout their pen; this enables them to access food and water at any given time and interact with other cows. Having grooved concrete floors makes sure that cows do not slip. Another option is having rubber mats that do the same thing.

And, lastly, food. Who doesn’t love food? Just as we love to eat good food, cows do too. Farmers have a nutritionist come to the farm and set up individualized meal plans for each stage in a cow’s life. Cows get different food rations and mixes as they get older and sorted into different groups. A heifer (a young female that has not yet given birth and does not produce milk), for example, could be eating hay and grain while a cow receives a TMR (Total Mixed Ration). TMR is great because it is a mix of a whole bunch of delicious and nutritious food such as corn silage, hay, forages, grains, proteins, vitamins and minerals.

Having comfortable and happy cows is every farmer’s desire because cows will have less stress, eat more, and have fewer health problems.

With the start of pumpkin season, try out this delicious pumpkin pie.

PUMPKIN PIE

Ingredients

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

2 cups pumpkin puree

1 1⁄2 cups milk

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 1⁄2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 (9-inch) deep-dish pie crust

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine sugar and eggs with a hand mixer on medium speed until well combined.

Add pumpkin, milk, eggs and spices.

Mix on low speed until all ingredients are combined.

Pour mixture into prepared pie crust.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn oven temperature down to 350 degrees and continue baking for 30-45 minutes, or until center of pie is firm.

Remove from oven and let cool.

Serve at room temperature.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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