Calving going smoothly

After I finished writing my “Moos” column last week, calving started.
They have been coming nicely every day, but I must say it was a lot of checking during that latest cold snap. It is difficult to choose which cows to put in the barn when you have so many ready to pop!
I did have one born in my outside shed on one of the coldest mornings, but it wasn’t there long and I scooped it up and into warmth (she weighed only 65 pounds so she was easy to move around).
So far, the biggest calf has tipped the scales at 105 pounds, and from a heifer, to boot, but she had it on her own. I also had a set of twins; they were nice-sized calves for twins (one was 90 pounds and the other 80).
One of my three-year-olds (second time calving) had a calf with something wrong and it didn’t make it. Actually, the cow (Dixie) that had that calf is the picture which appears in the paper each week along with the title of this column.
Darma, meanwhile, calved and had a big bull. Maddie hadn’t decided on any boy names, so she had to re-think her names and came up with Dax.
Often second-time calving cows slip back on calving dates, but I am very happy with mine—they all have calved earlier than last year. I think it is likely from that good mineral I feed them (that’s a plug for my friend who sells ISF mineral).
I also noticed that so far my heaviest calves are all from my heifers—and I also believe it is because they are in their best shape. They have never calved before and have just done nothing but look after themselves for two years.
In the meantime, it is difficult to attend appointments and meetings at this time of the year. And again, you can’t risk being gone too long when it is cold.
I had to call my almost step-son to come and “cow sit” for a couple hours one afternoon (it’s great now that he has his driver’s licence and doing his co-op in Emo, he came back quickly).
My mom also will do some checks if I have a meeting (and she is home), so at least I shouldn’t come home to a cold, wet calf outside.
I still haven’t been able to find anyone to come and get up through the night, however!
True, the milder weather takes a little of the stress off, but it can make for some dirty cows if it gets too warm. It is amazing how we can go from one extreme to the next when it comes to the weather!
• • •
The Rainy River Cattlemen’s Association welcomed a new executive. Murray McDonald is now president and Steve Loshaw is vice-president.
Best of luck to Murray and Steve, and I know they are looking forward to a busy year ahead.
Cattle prices are on the rise, so we are planning on some successful sales.
A reminder, also, about our upcoming workshop on “Species at Risk,” which is slated for Saturday, March 5 at 10 a.m. at the Emo Legion.
I’m really wanting as many farmers as possible to attend. If you have any questions about it, please let me know.
• • •
I hear from many people that they really enjoy reading about Maddie and Marlee. But, of course, like almost anything, there is always some criticism.
I guess some people seem to find a way to take my enjoyment and time with the girls out of context. I do not—and will not—have kids of my own, so my nieces and my friends’ kids are important to me.
It is so amazing to see them learn and enjoy agriculture—and I’m hoping they can share with their friends as that is one thing that we, as farmers, don’t do enough (i.e., explain what we do and how we grow our food!)
It is a very satisfying feeling to watch and see any kid learn and enjoy farming. My friend who sells the ISF mineral had his kids over the other night and his little boy was telling me, “I know one thing, Kimmie.”
After I said, “Oh, what’s that?” he responded, “I will be at the fair!”
He already is exciting about the fall fair and the cattle show. That is just cool!

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