Blizzard caused a lot of problems for some farmers

What a week it’s been. Thankfully the weather has improved.
Last week’s snowstorm resulted in lots of work and worries. Many people are just beginning their calving season and that storm meant putting in some long hours trying to keep a close eye on their cows.
I also have heard a few farmers lost some calves and I sympathize with them. You work hard to get your calves live and healthy on the ground and then a storm like that can cause a lot of problems.
I was fortunate enough that I didn’t have anyone calve until Thursday morning. And since I’m down to the last few, I was able to keep all the close ones in the barn.
But if you think the storm made you crabby, you should have seen my cows! The calves spent most of their time in the calf pens and they didn’t want to leave–even to nurse. So I had a bunch of full-uddered cows bawling for two days.
It is a dreaded feeling when you open the door to venture out to the barn and there is someone mooing loudly and continuously. It normally means something is sick or dead.
What a dreadful walk—never mind that the snow was so darned deep! It was a complete workout getting to the barn!
As I made it to the barn, I ignored the cows that were in the barn close to calving (I felt they were safe and I really didn’t know what was in store with the outside bunch). At least once I got into the calving yard, the cows had a path I could follow, so it was much easier to walk.
I was shining my trusty flashlight in one of calf pens to see how things were and I didn’t realize that beside me stood one of the “A” cows. It was Alice’s daughter, Abbie. She turned around and kicked me across both legs.
I was ticked since I didn’t even touch her. She should have been happy that I was checking to see if her calf was okay!
I didn’t have anything in my hand except my trusty flashlight, so I threw it at her, but all I did was lose my trusty compass that was part of my fancy flashlight (during the storm I thought I might need the compass to get back and forth from the barn).
My grandma had called at some point during the storm and thought I might need to tie a rope from the barn to the house so I didn’t get lost!
The first night of the storm, there was only one calf that spent the night outside–Alice’s. I didn’t dare go and try to move it. It simply reinforced that the “A” cows—Alice, Abbie, and Allie—need to move on.
Allie is only a year old, but the reason one of the gates at the barn is bent out of shape is from her jumping through it (she is the only calf we had to leave at our Blackhawk pasture last fall because she wouldn’t come into the corral). And when vaccinating last fall, she was the only calf that managed to get through the headgate and escape her needle!
Luckily, I was able to keep a close eye on the calves after the storm as my dad spent a couple of days cleaning out the yards and laneways.
I always complain that snow pushing is such a waste of fuel, but I was happy to be able to walk to the barn without the snow being up to my knees!
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My nieces are out for the March Break and the “whys” have increased. Good thing the weather is nice as we have a hard time leaving the barn yard.
The oldest spends a lot of time bending down looking at the calves and saying, “You’re adorable” and “You’re my favourite!”
We had to do a medicine delivery trip to a friend’s farm early in the week. Our delivery was to Stratton, but the 25-minute drive was full of questions (“Why is the cow sick?” “Where is the calf?” and “Why do they need medicine?”
Finally we arrived and as we drove in the yard, she said, “Auntie Kimmie, I don’t think I have met these cows before!
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I am coming to town! Yes, I will see everyone at the Fort Arena at the Gillon Family Benefit – let’s show everyone what a great community we live in!

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