Livestock

The most wonderful time of the year

I love calving season.

I love hearing the soft moos as the mamas clean off their new calves, and I love watching the week old calves as they run and jump and play.

We have around 90 calves on the ground with just over 100 to go. So far we’ve had twins, a blizzard, and a bottle calf to feed.

I named the bum calf ‘Gary’, and it’s my favorite thing nowadays to call out ‘Gaaaaryyyy!!’ while I’m still out of his sight and hear him perk up and start bawling for me.

greg
Gary, the piglet who masquerades as a calf

My favorite heifer Chocolate Chip had her first calf, a big strong calf I quickly dubbed ‘Peanut Butter’. I was quite proud when I correctly guessed she would be calving on a certain night. It was just a lucky guess, but I told everyone she and I have a special bond and she told me she was feeling crampy. I don’t think everyone else is as amused with my sense of humor about it, but they just roll their eyes and continue checking for big bags and softening ligaments.

chocolatechip
Chocolate Chip and her bull calf, Peanut Butter

I think this is a woman thing, but I have a hard time not naming the best cattle. I get lots of head shakes from the men when I name my favorites, but it only takes a day or two before they start referencing the cows by name instead of number. It’s pretty amusing to hear Cody’s grandpa, who has ranched his whole life and is a serious man, talk about how ‘Becky’ or ‘Twix’ are doing instead of ‘631’ and ‘385’.

With all the craziness, it can be tough to get in some alone time with Cody. Understanding that he is a very busy guy is one thing, but coming to grips with the fact that this means he won’t have as much time for you is another. I think this has been a nice progression for our relationship, and it’s made our time spent together more meaningful and productive.

cody
Cody spotted this calf down in the branches, she was born down there and couldn’t stand up. If he hadn’t dragged her out, she would have died down there. Mama and baby were thankful!

Now our dates consist of checking heifers in the snow or hauling up a down cow with the tractor bucket and ratchet straps. I’m adjusting to this way of  life and loving every minute of it.

 

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