For years Marge Gamier has been trying to deal with the problem of frozen ears on newborn calves. She finally came up with a design for earmuffs that works.
"It gets as cold as 35 to 40 degrees below zero here and newborn calves can quite easily freeze their wet ears. Frozen ears dry up and break off and that's very painful for the calves and spoils their appearance, lowering their value when sold to market. It also spoils them for show if it happens to be a purebred animal," says Gamier.
Last winter she decided to come up with a design for earmuffs that would provide protection. She used polar fleece fabric, making individual muffs that fit over the ears with a strap that runs around the head. A band running around the nose helps hold them in place.
"We slip the muffs on as soon as possible after birth and close them under the head with a velcro strip. They stay on quite well and the mamas don't seem to mind. The babies can still nurse and, after a day or so, the muffs can be taken off. The ears are dry by then and shouldn't freeze.
"As far as I know, there's nothing else like them on the market. I've been selling them locally."