Where winter winds howl, snow flies and temperatures turn frigid in a heartbeat, it’s important to bundle up. In places like the Midwest where several feet of snow can fall, blanketing an entire city and shutting everything down, people know how to dress to stay warm and try to avoid getting frostbite.
People must be cautious not to contract frostbite, which occurs most commonly on the fingers, toes, nose, cheeks, chin, and ears, reports the Mayo Clinic. Animals can suffer from frostbite, too, notes WebMD. It occurs most commonly on their toes, tail, and ears, which is why many pet owners are vigilant. But it isn’t just dogs and cats that can find themselves in trouble.
Livestock housed outdoors also are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia even with a thick hide and a bristly coat like cattle. Calves, in particular, can find themselves struggling to stay warm in the wintertime.
Lindsay Chichester is an Extension educator whose sister Kellie Chichester uses something called calf ear muffs.
They’re just like earmuffs for humans, but are designed to fit the unique and elongated shape of a calf’s face and ears.
Lindsay explained on her blog that these ear muffs are commonly strapped onto the calves when they are newborns and they wear them for several days until their circulation stabilizes or temperatures warm up.
“It is not uncommon for a baby animal to lose the tips of their ears or tips of their tails to frostbite.”
Kellie commented on the blog that the ear muffs really don’t bother the babies much. It’s the cows that are fascinated by them.
“The cows are actually curious about the ear muffs and tend to spend more time nudging and licking the calves. The muffs need to be checked regularly and an ear may need to be tucked back in on occasion.”
Cattle producer Holly Poad with Triple P Farms in Lone Rock, Wisc., approached her aunt Kim Ewers about helping her come up with something that their newborn calves could wear. It didn’t take long before others began wanting the calf ear muffs. She told WMTV that “People love them.” The pair now have a business making the “Moo Muffs” that have swept the internet by storm.
Dairy farmer Cans Moleman raises Holsteins in Ireland. He shared a photo of a calf wearing pink earmuffs on Twitter and his pic went viral with more than 170,000 likes.
“So it turns out ear muffs for calves to stop them getting frostbite are a real thing…”
Poad came up with the idea to create “Moo Muffs” after the family lost a barn in a fire, displacing the newborn calves. The family had to quickly come up with a way to keep the newborn calves warm, she told WMTV.
“We bought calf jackets and tried to make it work.”
They also bought calf earmuffs, but decided that for the price, she could ask her aunt to make some instead. Kim has sewn most of her life and owns her own embroidery business. Eventually, “Moo Muffs” was born, and features a water-repellent material on the outside and fully adjustable straps, WMTV shared.
“Holly’s been keeping me busy. She’ll text me, ‘Hey, I need five more. I need six more.’ It’s like, oh my gosh, okay.”
WMTV interviewed Holly about this terrific invention and shared some moo-velously adorable photos of her calves sporting the Moo Muffs. Check it out!
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