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This is as hot as it gets, right?

When you are reliant on Mother Nature for so many aspects of life, or, your whole livelihood, you talk about the weather often. It's hot and dry in our area of Oklahoma right now. We've had several days over 100 already. It is tough on the animals and us. This is the time of year to cut hay while the grasses have good protein. This is the time of year that those around us are working wheat ground following the harvest. And, the heat can make it tough on the machinery to an extent as well.

We take advantage of early mornings and late nights and... NAP during the day when we can. The animals do similarly. We make sure they have access to fresh water all the time as well as salt blocks and mineral blocks.

Some research indicates that different breeds tolerate the sun and heat better than others. Other research discusses how some animals are more willing to graze (and therefore gain weight) in the heat than others. Our approach is less about quick gains. We want these animals to grow, of course, but we do that on their time in the way that works with their bodies. Animals are smart. They know when to eat, what to eat, and, unless they are forced into it, they won't eat things that are known toxins to them. Because of this last one, we encourage any and all milkweed to flourish here! The native one we have here is Antelope Horn Milkweed. It has a big taproot, so from a soil standpoint, it is keeping the soil broken to help grasses dig deeper. It requires nothing special, it just grows... ideal since I do well with four legged mammals, but I'm out if you're thinking that I grow a garden ;)

Anyway, we're on pins and needles wondering if this major heat continues through July and August with nary a break. We'll keep a careful eye on water sources and shade. And, don't be surprised if we take a siesta in the later afternoon and early evening!

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