The wins and woes of calving season

Well this is my last week to be a full-time farmer! Time truly flies by.

I have mixed feelings about it. I look forward to my scheduled days and of course a regular pay cheque.

I seemed to have had a bit of a crazy calving year. It can always be worse, but it hasn’t been without some troubles.

Last week we scheduled a special RRCA meeting to review tenders and continue with our plans on our Sales Barn Build.

We decided to have an in-person meeting because we would be under the allowed # and it is much easier to discuss this stuff in person. It turned out to be a busy day for many, with either cows calving, hockey, off-farm work or just family events. I wasn’t expecting it to be so busy for myself.

As the meeting started, I was suspicious of Maddie’s 4-H heifer that she might be starting to calve.

I watched on the camera and couldn’t see much until she stood up and then I just had a feeling the feet were backwards. Off to the barn I went and yup, backwards it was.

I quickly went back to the house and asked James for help and at the same time called Dr. Stacey. We got the calf quickly enough but then I was nervous from my last week’s episode, so I hated to leave the barn.

She was fine but it was still too fresh. Upon returning to the house and missing most of the meeting my mom called to tell me that she was sure I had another cow calve in my shed as she was watching on her iPad. So, off I went to the barn.

I wasn’t a great hostess or secretary that evening.

Sunday night Marlee and I did chores and headed over to my moms for our Sunday Supper. Marlee and Shane just got away and I checked the camera and discovered a cow calving.

Off I went only to find another set of backwards feet. I called Dr. Stacey and my boyfriend/partner, and I got the cow in.

The feet didn’t look big, so I was wondering if there was two. We pulled out a dead calf.

Stacey quickly checked and could feel another head but no feet. After a bit of time she got the feet and we pulled another dead one.

Most likely what happened was when these calves were turning to get in position to exit, they get tangled up and their navel cords detach.

They were big calves for two but she is also a big cow. My boyfriend/partner got busy skinning one of the calves while I went to retrieve one of my other twins that I have been supplementing as their momma was the cow that had been sick. We tie the hide on the calf and then cross our fingers that the momma will claim it.

The hide wasn’t staying on well and I was worried the calf was going to end up choking itself on it, so I removed it. (Normally you wait a few days.)

The cow is happy with her baby, and the calf is loving the milk but doesn’t understand why she isn’t drinking from her own momma.

All in all, this will work out much better for all, but I have such a hard time taking a calf away from their mom and sibling.

So, like I have tried to mention in the past, there are no dull moments on a farm. You are challenged with something every day!

I have four left to calve and I think they are a week away from doing their thing, so I hope by then that all is settled, and my challenging stuff is behind me.