Bitter cold causes extra work

The wintery weather is really getting to me—especially the wind!
As I approach calving time, it actually makes me tired just thinking about the extra work the cold causes.
I finally moved my cows home in preparation for calving. Of course, the wind was whipping across the big open field they had to trudge home over and more than half of them wouldn’t come.
I even waited overnight and still the other (stubborn) half hadn’t arrived.
I decided to go and give them a push. But by then they were looking for hay, so they came home fairly easy.
It was more of a challenge to get all the gates shut due to the pile of snow we have!
• • •
One evening last week while doing chores, I noticed a cow acting like she was going to calve.
And the worst part is she is the most miserable, challenging cow that we have in our herd. She is the one that never co-operates when you are moving cattle, vaccinating, or weaning.
I never take her away to pasture because she just doesn’t do what you want her to.
I watched her while she was up for water but decided I would do my barn chores first and then go back and check on her. She had made her way back to the bush by then and certainly was acting like she wanted to calve.
All I could think about was, “How will I ever get her home!” I imagined I would have to call all my friends and the worst part was darkness was falling.
But I decided to give it a try. She did take me a fair ways into the cedar swamp—and once my boots were full of snow, she ventured out and actually headed to the barn.
The challenge was getting gates closed as we went.
Once I got all the barn doors and gates open, I got her in the barn! That deserved a huge celebration but then I remembered that this wasn’t likely going to be a “good calving.”
Turns out she had a dead bull calf.
Who really knows what happened? But I’m still glad I saw her and got her in because if I would have found it the next morning, I really would have blamed myself for not noticing—and in this weather, there is not a chance anything would live long.
She’s just bought herself a one-way ticket out of here, though.
Of course, this stuff really gets me down. On top of having way too much stuff on my plate right now, this weather has resulted in me being pretty darn crabby!
• • •
Of course, on the night of the Rainy River Cattlemen’s Association’s annual meeting, I had frozen water at one of the water bowls. The worst part was it was frozen at the normal, quick fix spot.
I ended up calling my Uncle Bob for back-up help. Turns out it was frozen somewhere between the well house and the water bowl, so we just put extra heat on it and had to leave it for the night.
Once it thawed, of course, there was water everywhere. That also resulted in me running late for the meeting and then your mind is completely distracted for the night.
• • •
Thanks to everyone who braved another cold, stormy RRCA annual meeting night! We welcomed two new faces to the board, as well: Mark Husser and Micha Gerber.
Joe Sletmoen, Ray Chartier, and Bryan Kelly will be attending the BFO annual meeting in Toronto later in February.
The board has a busy year ahead of them but looks forward the challenges each year brings.
• • •
Last week I attended two different strategic planning sessions. We have our work cut out for us in many ways in this district with the changes in industries, population, and the general economy.
These things will affect all of us and all our groups.
• • •
If you are interested in joining the Rainy River District 4-H program, the annual meeting is this Friday (Jan. 31) in Barwick.
Contact Wanda Heyens or Kim Desserre for more information.

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