Bitter cold threatens calves and lambs
Tue, 11 Sep 2012 6:04p.m.
By Krissy Moreau
Today will be remembered in the South Island as a day that was bitterly cold.
The polar blast made driving treacherous - but as it’s lambing and calving season Southland farmers had no option but to go out to the rescue.
“It's pretty cruel on them as you can see, they're out there walking around on six inches of snow, they're freezing,” says Mossburn farmer Grant Harding.
But rescuing shivering newborns from cruel weather conditions is something Southland farmers are used to.
“It’s part of the life if you're farming, you've got live ones, you've certainly got dead ones - you can't farm around it,” says Gary Hoffman.
With calving and lambing seasons in full swing, the polar blast has hit pockets of Southland with an unwelcomed intensity, the temperature hovered around 3degC, but the wind chill made it much colder - and potentially lethal for newborns.
“[It’s] really tough because as the lamb hits the ground the moisture in the ground sucks the heat out of the body, and if they're not shifted it turns pear-shaped for them,” says Mr Hoffman.
While snow was forecast for much of the lower South Island, MetService says in coastal areas it's more likely to be sleet, but in inland areas, such as Mossburn, the impact of the snow is taking its toll as any loss of stock is a direct loss of income for farmers.
“There's nothing worse than going and seeing a dead calf or a dead cow… today we've lost three already,” says Mr Harding.
“It is a tough time, especially like this. But it's only for a day,” says Mr Hoffman.
And so many are hoping the forecast for warmer weather comes sooner rather than later.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
11/09/2012 8:21:54 p.m.
Snow at this time of year in the south is not uncommon and with weather extremes being more common it is about time farmers had decent shelter for their animals. Some animals have few bushes or trees to protect them from the wind, or decent cover from sleet, hail or rain. Trees need to be planted and wood/iron shelters available too or in the meantime. Its not rocket science. And it is the ANIMALS that suffer more than the farmers. A price cannot be put on that.
Police had to physically push anti-poverty protestors back a...
A crew member of a cruise ship who was seriously injured abo...
Tonight comes the Budget announcement you didn't hear yester...
It's New Zealand Sign Language Week and it is hoped awarenes...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.