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Questions answered about farm animals in the cold

Folks at The Lands at Hillside Farms say people tend to question the animals' safety outside.

SHAVERTOWN, Pa. — Chet Mozloom is the executive director of The Lands at Hillside Farms in Luzerne County. He says that sometimes when the weather gets cold, he gets questions from guests at the educational farm.

"We just we love the interaction and questions like this. They're not hostile. We love them. We really do," said Mozloom.

One common question is whether the animals are safe out in subfreezing temperatures.

"We're concerned as well, especially when you see these single digits at night," said Mozloom. "You know, I'll wake up in the middle of the night, 'Hey, is everything OK?' Sometimes I'll even take a ride here. Because if there's an animal that's sick and you don't know it, you'll find out fast when it's very cold. But in general, this is what they're built for. It's a miracle that they could do it."

Some are concerned if the structures in their living areas are big enough.

Mozloom says the animals will instinctually stand in the sun or huddle together for warmth, not seek shelter.

"The only purpose of a structure in there at all is to keep animals dry and have a windbreak," explained Mozloom. "So you want it to be huddled, and you want some kind of bedding down, and that's the dream, and it's just as warm in there as it is in any barn here. It's not like the barns are heated. This is life and agriculture."

Mozloom says weather is a constant item on the farm's checklist to ensure everything is OK.

"Weather's everything, so it's a nightmare, you know, ice, like we can't we put the cows out whenever we can for exercise. It's part of our mission," said Mozloom. "If today there wasn't ice on the ground, and the ground was nice and hard, they'd be out, but we are we're worried about ice. We're really worried about if it rains and then becomes cold. So yeah, the weather is everything here. It's really a big deal."

Mozloom says he appreciates feedback, and sometimes it leads to identifying a problem he and his staff were unaware of, so he encourages it.

Mozloom adds that the animals' best interests are at the forefront of their minds at The Lands at Hillside Farms.

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