I haven’t quite figured out why people always assume animals are clean, well groomed, and have shiny coats. Too many Disney movies? Never been in nature? CLUELESS? Maybe. Just maybe.
The truth is. Animals do get dirty. I’ve been afraid to post full body pictures of my animals because I didn’t want anyone to think that I wasn’t taken good care of my animals. Then I got thinking, ‘I know that I take good care of my animals and I know that they get dirty so what am I ashamed of?’. Then I realized that most people don’t realize that animals do get dirty and that they don’t always have a shiny coat of luscious hair.
In the spring animals get the dirtiest. If you think about it, so does your car. For the same reasons. Everything is melting, the frost is coming out of the ground, and things are warmer. The animals like to lay in soft spots. Well in the spring what is softer–a frozen piece of ground or a piece of ground that is muddy? Obviously the muddy spot. So they lay there. It’s not because they aren’t being taken care of. We could have a completely clean yard and if they defecated in a spot, they would lay there. It’s soft and warm. As gross as that sounds, it’s true.
In the winter animals are dirty for the same reason. They prefer soft spots. The ground is hard so if they defecated in the same spot over and over again, they’ll lay there because it says soft and warm from their body heat. Farmer’s help in every way that they can in the winter to make a soft bed for them. They leave some manure in the yards so they have a little ‘cushion’. They then place a straw or corn-stock bale over the manure to act as a sheet. They love to play and jump around in the new bedding and it creates a soft, warm spot for them to lay. It doesn’t keep them clean though because it is placed on top of soft manure. Like I said, we try our best to give them a soft and warm spot. The dirt on the animals also acts like an insulator in the winter too. The more coverage they have the better they keep their heat in–just like in humans. The more we wear the more we’re warmer.
The summer and fall are the best time of year to find animals a little cleaner. They have soft ground, they don’t have to lay on their manure, and they are warmer so they don’t all huddle together. They still don’t stay clean though. They don’t take showers, bathes, or wash before dinner. Think about us, if we didn’t shower we would be that dirty too. We would have spots where there was dirt. I mean, let’s be serious, my dad calls me the ‘shit magnet’ because I get extremely dirty doing absolutely nothing.
The animals on my farm and many other farms across the country are taken care of very well. So next time you see a picture of an animal that has a little dirt on them, remember what I’ve told you. Just because an animal has a little dirt on it doesn’t mean it isn’t taken care of. Look at me–I take care of myself, I just have a few smudges of dirt on my face. 🙂
If you would like to give every cow on my farm a bath for me I would appreciate it–but I’m going to video record you trying to do such a thing! 😉