Beyond the Barn: Stock Your Summer Shelves
Here’s our spring shopping list to get your shelves stocked and ready for whatever the summer may bring.
Rain gear: Getting soaked in the rain is seldom fun when you have a bunch of calves to feed. Get yourself a good pair of rain boots (with good traction) and a well-fitted raincoat (that won’t get caught in equipment). You might not find Parker’s dinosaur gear in the adult aisle, but staying dry will help you feel just as cool.
Gloves: Although you don’t have to worry about keeping your hands warm, you do still want to protect them as you’re working with calves. Gardening gloves are an inexpensive option during the summer. Look for gloves that give you a non-slip grip. You may also consider gloves that are a little thicker to give you a layer of protection from metal objects that have heated up beneath the summer sun.
Bug spray: Biting mosquitos and other insects will make any task unpleasant. Invest in good quality bug spray. Sweat-resistant products are especially handy when you’re working in the summer heat.
Sunscreen: The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends everyone use a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection, which means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Select a product that is SPF 30 or higher and water resistant. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, even on cloudy days. Sunscreen helps protect your skin from sunburn, early skin aging and skin cancer.
After-sun lotion: We again stress the importance of sun protection, but also understand that sometimes you forget to apply sunscreen and still get burned. Have a good after-sun lotion on hand just in case. Moisturizers and aloe lotions can help ease discomfort and dryness. Hydrocortisone creams can also help ease discomfort. And drink more water! Sunburn draws fluid to the skin and away from the rest of the body. You’ll need more water to stay hydrated.
Light clothing and hats: In addition to sunscreen, the AAD recommends wearing protective clothing, such as Noah’s lightweight, long-sleeve shirt, when possible. A wide-brimmed hat is ideal as it will help guard your face and neck from sunburns. A baseball cap can protect your face, but remember your neck and ears will still be exposed to the sun.
Sunglasses: Protecting your eyes from the sun is also important. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends always buying sunglasses that block at least 99 percent of ultraviolet rays. Labels may say “block 99% of all UV light,” “UV absorption up to 400 nm,” or “100% UV absorption.” Note that the color of lenses has nothing to do with the lenses’ ability to block UV light.
Water: Staying hydrated is especially important – and especially difficult – as you work in the summer heat. Young children and elderly adults are most susceptible to dehydration. Have a water cooler or bottled water in an easy-to-access place for your calf team. Make sure you build in plenty of water breaks on hot days. Sports drinks contain electrolytes that can help you rehydrate, but these drinks may also have high sugar content.
The farm is a busy place in the summer, but taking a few steps to stay safe and healthy will give you even more energy to take on all those tasks!
Starting Strong - Calf Care