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Weather science: Greenfield Village, weather conditions impact farm animals


Greenfield Village is living history with working farms. We spent part of the day at Firestone Farm learning about the different animals and the impact of the weather on them.

John Forintos, historical agriculture manager at Greenfield Village, says, “We have a variety of animals. We have our merino sheep, our wrinkled merino sheep. So as the main type of livestock on Firestone Farm, we have short horn cattle like here. , Marigold. We have hogs, a variety of chickens and Percheron and Morgan horses.

Depending on the time of year, the animals are fed a little differently.

John Forintos, “In the winter, we’ll give them more hay. You know, help them maintain their body heat. In the summer, we’ll give them, you know, what they need and they’ll, you know, graze all day long. They’re not going to, you know, crush it all at once.

During the summer months the animals have plenty of shade to keep cool.

“We provide all of our animals with sufficient shade. So we have our share of cows here. Allows the ladies to shade when they need it. We have trees in our pastures so the sheep can access the shade “We have a wall for our pigs. We too, you know, change the water every day. Says John Forintos.

Each weather element plays a role on the animals. Each animal has a certain temperature threshold, so daily temperatures are monitored.

“So with horses, especially since they’re work horses, you have different levels of heat. So obviously if it’s over 100 degrees, you don’t use the horses at all. They have their day off. And then with the cows, the ideal temperature for a cow for, you know, a nice day of relaxation is going to be between 40 and 60 degrees. But on days like that, it’s a little warmer and humid “, they’ll just be a little more laid back and stretched out their pasture. And we’ll make sure they have all the water and everything they need,” adds John Forintos.

It’s the science of weather. In Dearborn, meteorologist Kylee Miller.


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