Waiting for the Heat Wave to End – How Hot Is It?

Snoozing away in the heat of the day - Image (c) JMcCT, 2016 all rights reserved - Click to view larger image
Snoozing away in the heat of the day – Image (c) JMcCT, 2016 all rights reserved – Click to view larger image

By Dot Bergin

Bedford’s creatures, great and small, await the end of July’s drought and protracted period of 90-degree plus weather

Conserving energy - Image (c) JMcCT, 2016 all rights reserved - Click to view larger image
Conserving energy – Image (c) JMcCT, 2016 all rights reserved – Click to view larger image

Neil Couvee of Chip-in Farm says “the smart chickens are standing in front of the fan,” and the cows are lying down in the field to conserve energy.

Actually, Couvee says the fact that the nights cool off a bit makes life easier for the chickens.  But he has fingers crossed that Bedford will see lower temperatures and much-needed rain very soon.  Visitors to the farm are helping keep the animals cool with lots of baths.

Nibbling - Image (c) JMcCT, 2016 all rights reserved - Click to view larger image
Nibbling – Image (c) JMcCT, 2016 all rights reserved – Click to view larger image

As for the produce, this has been a tough growing season. The extreme heat slows plant germination.  The first cut of hay, says Couvee, was fine, but since then the hay has not grown well and the second cutting was not nearly what it should be.

Also, if the drought continues, he may need to begin feeding hay to the animals, who normally would be grazing successfully outside.  And that would reduce the amount of hay the farm stores up to feed the animals during the winter.

Couvee has had to irrigate more often than normal – four times instead of two.

With it all, today’s trip to Chip-In showed a group of kids happily enjoying “farm camp, “and the animals using good sense by staying still and not moving about much – something we humans should do as well.

Editor’s Note: Rain and cooler weather are forecast for the next several days. Our fingers are crossed!

Chip-in was unusually quiet on this hot afternoon - Image (c) JMcCT, 2016 all rights reserved - Click to view larger image
After Farm Camp ended for the day, Chip-in was unusually quiet on this hot afternoon – Image (c) JMcCT, 2016 all rights reserved – Click to view larger image
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