After 5+ years of being married to a farmer in the freezing plains of northeastern South Dakota I finally got myself a pair of insulated coveralls. I guess you could say, I'm officially a 'real' farmer now! ;) 

Of course, I needed to 'test out' my new purchase, so I decided to tag along for chores last week.

The boys frequently pile into the tractor to do winter chores with Tyler but I typically stay home... mostly because our tractor doesn't have a buddy seat and it's a tight squeeze to get all of us in the cab.

But, after tagging along for the morning, I thought you might be curious what our cows eat in the winter since it's no secret our pastures are covered in snow this time of year. 

During the snow covered months, our cattle spend their time at a pasture closer to our farm so it's easier for Tyler to bring them grass and/or alfalfa bales each day. 

When feeding the cattle, Tyler picks a new spot in the pasture each time he feeds and unrolls the bales. I learned that this is done so all of the cows get a chance to eat at the same time AND by moving the feeding sites, it allows the manure and animal impact to be distributed more evenly across the pasture, which will help improve regrowth in the spring.

During these colder months, often times cattle are supplemented with grain... ours are not. By feeding high quality grass/alfalfa, our cattle can be truly 100% grass fed and grass finished from start to finish even though we have snow covered pastures this time of year. 

January 26, 2023 — Reil Ranch