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It’s So Cold on the Plains That Calves’ Ears Are Falling Off

  • Farmers are resorting to anything to keep their animals alive
  • Pantyhose over the head, ears taped, but some can’t be saved
Cattle in Manhattan, Montana.
Cattle in Manhattan, Montana.Source: Jake Feddes
Updated on

In Arkansas, ranchers are fitting pantyhose over the heads of calves in a desperate attempt to keep them warm. In Montana, they’ve been duct-taping calves’ ears to their necks to stop them from falling off. In Oklahoma, newborns arrived onto snow-packed frozen ground and perished while ranchers were reportedly sticking the hardest-hit animals in the front seat of pickup trucks and even inside their homes.

Across the American Plains, South and Southwest, the unprecedented cold of this past week has been brutal on millions of residents. For the flora and fauna -- as well as those who make their living cultivating them -- it’s been equally disastrous, a Darwinian mix of outlandish and gruesome.