Local farmers take extra precautions in cold weather - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Local farmers take extra precautions in cold weather


UPDATE (WKOW) -- The weather just can't get cold enough to keep Wisconsin farmers like Duane Hinchley indoors.

"Typically, we'll wear a full dress of coveralls, boots, extra layer of socks," Hinchley says. But he's not just worried about himself, he's looking after cattle.

While the cows typically like a cooler climate, 40 degrees below zero with wind chills is a whole different story. Hinchley says cows need about 20 percent more feed than usual. "They're gunna use more fat off their body to sustain, ya know, their warmth."

Hinchley and his wife Tina are paying extra attention to how much each cow is eating when it gets this cold. The little ones are more susceptible to illness. Calves at Hinchley's Dairy Farm had coats on Sunday and one just born was near a heat lamp.

The Hinchleys give roosters and chickens access to heat too, so that their water doesn't freeze. They also put a tarp up to keep lambs out of the wind.

But one of the most critical parts of the farming operation threatened by the cold is underground.

"The biggest fear would be that the pipes would freeze, fortunately we've got some snow cover on the ground," Hinchley says. He doesn't think it'll happen but he'll still be working all Monday to make sure that once water is distributed to the animals, it doesn't freeze.

As for his attitude on working outside when it gets bitterly cold. "I'm glad I'm doing what I'm doing because I'm staying active, sitting at a seat at Lambeau Field, I'd rather be at my dairy barn," he says.


CAMBRIDGE (WKOW) -- Local farmers say weather this cold requires some extra work to keep everything moving smoothly.

Duane Hinchley of Cambridge says his cattle needs extra feed, all animals need protection from the wind and he has to put on a few extra layers to work outside in the below zero temps.

Reporter Danielle Lama visited the Hinchley's Diary farm earlier today and will have more on keeping it running in the cold tonight on 27 News at 5:30 and 10.

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