Alan Lowe, owner and operator of Greensburg's Lowe's Pellets & Grain, Inc., knows all too well the amount of extra planning and work involved in preparing a livestock facility for the extreme temperatures Decatur County is currently experiencing and the truly brutal cold yet on its way.
family-owned business, in fact, might well be considered a first-line of preparation for area farmers.
understands, too, how many livestock operations are depending on him to deliver an uninterrupted supply of feed during the cold and snow that's reportedly set to hit.
, the snowfall is easily the greater impediment of the two.
"We're going to be making feed and delivering it tomorrow [Saturday]," Lowe
told the Daily News
"We normally don't do that on Saturday, but would ordinarily be making and delivering the feed on Monday."
With anywhere between six-and-12 inches of snowfall predicted though, Lowe
isn't willing to take a chance on being forced to shut down Monday.
"We're doing it in anticipation of the severe weather, trying to stay on top of it," Lowe
said, "so we and our farmers can afford for us to be closed Monday.
We're calling customers and moving deliveries up to get ahead of the weather."
Having sufficient feed on hand is especially important in severely-cold weather, because animals tend to eat more in such extremes to help keep warm.
, who's been around animals and production agriculture his
whole life, didn't seem overly worried regarding livestock safety in the cold, provided farmers take ample measures to insure their comfort and safety.
"For most production animals," he
said, "such as cattle or horses - as long they can stay dry and out of the wind, they can survive severely cold temperatures.
But they have to be able to get to a place where they can get out of the cold; someplace where they don't get covered with snow and where they're blocked from the wind.
They need plenty of feed, of course, and water that isn't frozen."
added, are slightly more vulnerable to nature, largely depending on how acclimated they are to cold weather.
Regardless of whether they're acclimated to the outdoors or no though, these animals generally need the same care as other livestock, meaning they should be kept dry and out of the wind.
"Animals are a lot like humans," he
ended, "if we wear warm clothes, stay dry and stay out of wind, we can take a lot of cold."
does every day, Decatur County farmer Albert Armand rose at 5 a.m., Friday morning.
By 7:15, he
was making the rounds of his
small operation, preparing his
livestock for the impending cold and snow.
Armand echoed Lowe
in discussing how much animals eat during extremely cold weather, agreeing that livestock eat greater amounts during the cold to maintain body heat.