Each morning loose straw gets moved from the mow into the cattle pen to provide them with a comfortable surface for the day and night. This process is repeated until the pen gets too full of biomass (manure and straw, this time varies depending on how many steers we have at the time). At this point we move the cattle into the feed alley and barnyard while we clean their pen. Following that, we line the pen with large round bales, cut all strings/net wrap from them, and let the cattle back in. This was my favorite part of working with cattle as a child, and is most certainly still every steer’s favorite activity! They know as soon as we let them in, it’s time for them to do their part and spread out the bales. They do this with surprising speed, running at the bales and breaking them apart with their powerful heads and hind legs.
I’ll get more into alternative types of bedding available in another post. The main focus of this one, I’m sure you will all agree, is the video that follows!