Research station back in business for the season

Today was my first official day back to researching again. The weather seemed much more appropriate last week. Since I store our chemicals in the lab over winter to keep them from freezing, I hauled them back to their storage and did errands for the day while the chemical smell left the area. Since I am working on computer files, I will work part-time at home and Emo for the next week or two.

I am still waiting on seven calves and I have such a sore back that moving around a bunch is not very fun. Last week I ended up pulling a calf out of an older cow. The calf was small and she just wasn’t doing much. It was an easy pull, but the little guy had really taken on a lot of fluid, and he was struggling to get air. My mom was with me, so I asked her to grab some cold water. I poured it on him and it kind of shocked him into a breath. He was a slow starter, and I was worried about him on day one. His mom was a dream to work with. She never moved once while I got him sucking and thankfully, he is now just fine. I also had to get my neighbour over again to give me a hand with the bred heifer that Marlee and I purchased last fall. She was calving but again not doing a lot. I did a quick check and no feet. I called my neighbour and he came and we pulled out a backwards calf. It was fine and thankfully not that big, so it was an easy pull and that my neighbour is such a great help! I still have one heifer (first calver). She is close, but I would like to have her behind me, because if you are going to have to help, it is normally with them.

This weather we have had all winter is hard on cattle. I worry about these young calves when it is warm for a bit and then back freezing and the wind is not something you like for young animals. Not much we can do about the weather, and I was pleased that the other night when the wind was gusting, I only had one calf out and he was tucked nicely in the windbreaks and likely couldn’t feel anything that close to the ground. They are tough and hardy but when the weather isn’t great, they are certainly on your mind. There are a bunch of farmers that are just going to start calving in the next month, or so and I hope the weather turns in their favour. A lot of these producers are calving a lot of cows so having facilities for them isn’t all that easy.

We are interviewing summer students this week. Looks like I will be starting with two new students again since my last year’s dream team is going to be doing some placement work within their programs. I am sure I will have a new dream team but it is always a bonus when someone comes back.