Day 9 of Calving Season 2022

As I sit to write tonight it is with a bit of disappointment that six days have passed since I last was here. I wanted to be more regular. It has been a full week and a good week. We have had a really slow start to our calving season, and right now that is maybe okay. We have eleven calves so far. Our first one to need the in house obstretics unit happened today.

The big story tonight is that we are gearing up for a blizzard that is possibly going to be quite epic. We are told to expect extended power outages, a massive accumulation of snow, horrible winds, school and road closures and no sunshine for four full days. We are likely to have as many as 30 calves born in this time, I am guessing.

It is hard to get my head around this. It was a beautiful night tonight, a bit cool but rather still and peaceful. Its hard to believe that such conditions, which are sure to be among the most trying we have seen, are just around the corner.

We are trying to prepare. Things are to begin after lunch tomorrow (Tuesday). This is the kind of event that our cowboy cottage was created for. It is in place in the calving pasture. I am not sure how it will end up being needed but it can house humans overnight, provide them a place to change clothes and get fed. It can be a place to warm up calves and hopefully save several. In my mind I see Russ and Morgan staying there for a couple days and Jill, Ron and I keeping things steady on the homefront and calving out the heifers that will be here in the poleshed. I have no idea if that is how it will go or not. I sound braver than I am. I am not equipped to calve out cows, but necessity is the mother of invention, and with Ron’s experience perhaps we can teamwork our way through all of this.

Here are a few pictures from today.

Morgan carrying in today’s calf in need of help. This is the daughter of our heifer cow named “Raisin”. She was a very little peanut, not much bigger than our dogs. Her Mama’s instincts didn’t kick in right away.
Jill hanging out with our wee girl.
Her back legs were not working great, they had not been licked off properly so the stimulation of that had not happened. Jill and I rubbed them down alot to get her to this point and still she could not coordinate those legs.
She is looking better and Jill carried her back to the shed and to her Mama. Raisin was not interested in her at all, I was disheartened. I called Russ for advice. He told me, “set her in the centre of the pen and leave, let her circle her and decide for herself that is hers.” I was thoroughly unconvinced that was a good idea. It seemed negligent. However…….
An hour after Jill and I delivered her to the shed I got this text from Russ as I was helping to M.C. the music festival event in town. In the attached picture Raisin and her calf appear to be tight. I appreciated the update alot, but mostly I was glad to get that encouragement and affirmation.
Russ and Morgan went over to the cottage and checked out its readiness. This is the wood stove that is going to be a saving grace.
They got the calving herd locked up in a sheltered area which allows close monitoring and some protection. They can be seen through the north window in the cowboy cottage.
Morgan chopped extra wood in readiness.

I hope that I can keep checking in each day as this unfolds.

Please pray for us. We will need strength and courage and wits. We will need to keep ourselves safe and of course as many of our bovine friends as we possibly can.

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