Scary labours, but happy endings in the barn so far

I survived my trip to Toronto and thankfully so did all my helpers and my animals. The first day away was by far the worst. As I left that morning I had a cow calving but she did very little all day so we thought it was a false alarm. That evening she showed more promise but was still slow progress. The on call crew ended up pulled the calf and it was a heavy calf at 115 lbs. This was the cows 2nd calf and she was bred to the same bull last year and had a 70 lb calf. Years like this where we have poor hay but more of it we feed more and they eat more to try get the require nutrients often results in larger calves. I am hoping that is the last of the big ones. The rest of the week was much calmer for my farm hands but then it all broke loose for me on Friday night. I had a heifer calving late on Friday night followed quickly by another heifer and at the same time a had an older cow acting suspicious. I was watching her but wasn’t concerned until I seen her pushing and having little progress. Out to the barn I went and did a quick check to discover the only thing coming was a tail. Full breech, one of the nastiest presentations. I called by vet cousin and some back up in. This was the cow that nearly died this summer with that non-typical pneumonia. She is likely my thinnest cow and a cow that is nervous around men. She really did well and much to my surprise they pulled out a live calf! She was a bit weak on her legs for the first few hours, but her mom was very aggressive cleaning her up and she perked up very quickly. I gave her some colostrum as she couldn’t stand all that long but within a few hours she was nursing on her own. What a great story that could have gone complete the other way. Thank goodness for vets and good neighbours. I had another calf after than and felt nervous as she was taking her sweet time but it was all good. My mom just kept reminding me how glad she was that I was home for that! The calves are coming along nicely and this weather is really making things enjoyable.

The Beef Farmers of Ontario AGM was excellent! I am very happy that I was able to attend thought my guilt gets the best of me for leaving everyone at home to take care of my business. I have not attended for many years but it was sure great to see many faces that I haven’t see in awhile. The industry has so many good people working for us. Everyone is pleased that commodity prices are increasing but there is a lot of concern with our high input costs and the fact cows numbers are not where they need to be. We need a fully funded Risk Management Program. This will solve many of the issues are industry is facing.

We were feeling pretty sad on Saturday night when the Muskie girls lost in shoot-out (10 the shooter) and will not advance in the playoffs. I think my brother is lost but busy planning to keep the girls skating at least a couple times a week. They are a young team and I think they have a bright future!

Thank you to my friends for texting and calling my mom last week to let her know you were ready, willing and able to help! Bradley managed to check my cows at night and still run the abattoir during the day – Thank you!