The calves have begun to arrive

The calves have started to arrive. The weather is co-operating, so we really can’t complain—well, except for maybe the lack of sleep.
It gets better as you have less to calve. You end up with fewer cows to keep an eye on and I guess you somewhat get more confident that you don’t need to be there all the time.
• • •
I’ve found another great feature about my BlackBerry: I can send an instant picture of all the calves to Maddie so she knows how many we have and what is going on.
This, of course, did make her want to come for a visit, so after Grandma and Grandpa went in to Fort Frances for the Muskie boys’ hockey team’s annual tea on Saturday afternoon, Maddie came out to farm.
She was pretty excited with the new babies and helped get the next moms in the barn.
Despite us having very quiet cows (all except Alice), we still have to keep a close eye on Maddie and the new moms as she is close to the ground, moves quick, and makes lots of funny noises that the cows sometimes fear.
Maddie has been taught very well that you don’t even look at Alice.
Speaking of Alice, she is in the process of calving today (Monday)—if she doesn’t wreck the place first. She already had the camera knocked down and is completely ticked at me for having her in a calving pen.
This year Maddie is enjoying picking out names for the babies. I am excited since it’s an Olympic year. My oldest cow is Nagano (1998), who then had Saltee (2002) and also had Torino (2006). But she wasn’t that great of a heifer, so she didn’t stay long.
I am hoping that Nagano can give us a Vancouver this year!
• • •
Maddie and I went and checked the traps once we had the calving chores done. It’s nice to take her in the bush and show her all the animal tracks.
It usually sparks a million questions, but it is fun.
She, like me eagerly anticipates each trap. We ended up only catching a squirrel, but she was excited and couldn’t wait to show Daddy.
Poor Marlee was stuck at home while we were having all this fun. But since Maddie registered for school the other day, we figure we will be able to bring Marlee out for all this fun while Maddie is off at school!
Maddie still likes to inform me that “Marlee doesn’t like the cows yet.”
• • •
It was very nice that a good friend of my brother’s, a fellow “Emo-nian” (as he called it), read my column last week and taped the Temple Grandin show for me!
Wow–thank you!
I am very pleased as this will be great for our 4-H’ers, as well as some of my farmer friends that have the same technical capabilities as me.
Kendal, we owe you a steak!
• • •
Food Freedom Day fell on Feb. 12 this year. This is when the average Canadian has grossed enough income to pay his or her individual grocery bill for an entire year!
This is a simple comparison of Canadians’ disposable income and the amount they spend on food.
Sadly, Canadian consumers’ price of food steadily has increased while the amount that returns to the farm gate is relatively small.
Really, as a Canadian, we enjoy one of the most affordable, safe food supplies in the world.

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