Welcoming new life

February is supposed to a short month but with these extreme temperatures it is seeming rather long. I believe we have hit the two-week mark for cold weather, and I don’t remember seeing -40 on my thermometer so many times in a row.

To say it has been challenging for so many is an understatement. Keeping water flowing, starting tractors and keeping calves from freezing is just a few things, but then it tends to bring up other strange problems. I was checking my cows every two hours but had to bump it back to every 1.5 hours.

I am feeling like I am 100 right now but also can’t help but feel some relived as the weather is looking to be changing this week.

The animals, including the calves are very tough but they must be dried off before that happens. I am fortunate for a nice barn but that means the right cows must be in the barn to calve. The ones that cause the most worry are the ones that are tricking you and you leave outside. I hope that by checking that often I will get them quickly.

I have had to pull two in but thankfully I was there quick. I lost a calf this past week. It wasn’t from being born outside but it was dead upon arrival. Not sure what or why but dead is dead. This week looks to be a busy week for me with many cows due and a few extra meetings. Fortunately, the meetings will be over the computer but with lack of sleep I am not really at the top of my game. If the weather changes it will be less stress at least. People have been asking why we calve right now. For myself, it fits best into my schedule. I need to work off the farm and spring is busy. It works best for marketing, vaccinating and getting animals to pasture. I really don’t believe there is a perfect time; you are either dealing with cold weather or mud. It is a personal preference. But, don’t get me wrong, every year when I hit this weather and feel like I haven’t slept in months I wonder why I am doing it as well.

I hope everyone can enjoy their Family Day in some way. The sun is out, and the daytime temperature isn’t so bad. The fresh air is certainly good for you if you can be outside. I have experienced some of the freshest air ever these past couple of weeks. I have resorted to just wearing my clothes to bed for the short times I am in it. Nanny always did this for calving, and I thought she was crazy. I am there now. It saves me the time it takes to get dressed and it is one of the things I dread the most. Our Family Day will be spent with cows – can’t get much better than that!