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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mid February Update

February on our farm is a hustle and bustle time. We are calving and in this cold blustery weather we have to be on our toes. Winchester and Reminton are 18 and 17 yrs. and are our best farm hands. To date we have 14 calves of which two sets of twins and no losses. After last years calving season of too many losses including cows lost in birth, we need a fruitful calving season.
We walk through the cows in the cow yard every hour to hour and a half. A calf born in below zero weather is doomed to death if left out in the elements for more than an hour. Tuesday morning I woke up a little later than usual after Jeff had gone to work and sure enough there was a calf born, standing by it's mother with all it's hair froze....shivering. Shivering is good! I didn't even think to run back to the barn for the sled, but scooped it up and ran for the house. It was a bit heavy for me but I made it to the cow yard gate, put it down to open it and then picked it up again (not an easy thing with a slimy wet wriggling 68 pounder) and made it to the house steps where I put it down again. I ran in the house and screamed (literally) for the boys to wake up. I didn't wait for them, but pulled the calf onto my lap and scooted up the steps on my butt. The calf's mouth was still warm so I knew it would be fine once we got it dried off and warmed up. I put it into Winchester's one piece hunting suit and put the heating pad inside as well and zipped it up. Within two hours the little heifer was trying to get up and trying to suck on the wall.
Whew! I'm not a spring chicken and am pretty stiff and sore. That calf was doing some major struggling while I was carrying it. They are soooo strong it's really amazing.
I'll be posting soon, as I'm sure another exciting incident is on the horizon.

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