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Burning Bales Keep Cattle Warm
When it gets cold on Ted Thimling's farm near Arnett, Okla., cattle gather around a big bale fire to keep warm.
"It takes the chill off. Many times it's helped prevent frostbite," says Thimling who makes about 50 round bales out of wheat straw every year to use for his frosty night bonfires. When it gets particularly cold out, he places one of the bales in a corral or pasture and sets it afire. "It flames up for a while and then it just smolders away. One bale will usually last all night. Cattle line up down wind of it and once the bale bums down, they go lay right next to the embers or even right in the ashes to keep warm. It's surprising how-long the ground will stay warm after the bale burns down."
Thimling has also tried unrolling a bale in a long line along the ground and then setting it afire. That works but the straw burns up too fast. "When I tried that, I ended up with a long line of cattle lying on the ground in the ashes because the ground stayed warm for a while after the fire died out. But it didn't keep them warm for long."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ted Thimling, Rt. 1, Box 13, Arnett, Okla. 73832.

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1992 - Volume #16, Issue #2