We have about 40 cows that have calved now, with about 135 or so to go. Since we calve in February and March, in the great warm state of North Dakota, I thought I should explain how all this works.
You see, the state of North Dakota tends to get kinda cold in the winter. And since we prefer our calves to be the living, breathing kind, we try to make sure that each calf is born in the barn. Since that is almost impossible, we at least try to get the calf into the barn as quickly as possible, so that frostbite damage is minimal.
How do we do this?
Boss Man and I take turns checking the cows, constantly. As in every 2 hours. Unless it’s really cold or storming, then we check more often. Yep, that’s right, every 2 hours max. This means that every 2 hours someone is bundling up, heading outside and checking each and every cow behind the house. Right now there’s about 80 that we’re watching. (Cows cycle, just like humans, so we use ultrasound technology to date the development of the calf in the fall, which gives us a pretty good idea as to when they may be born in the spring.)
I’ve been pretty lucky so far, I haven’t had to chase any cows in during my checks, just call Mark a time or two when a calf was born outside. Until tonight. As we speak, a heifer is in the barn, ready to have her calf any minute. I will check on her in a few minutes, and if she hasn’t had her calf, then I will need to wake up my husband and have him use his expertise to help her. Hopefully I will go down to the barn, be greeted with a fresh pair of eyes and all will be well, and my hubby will be able to enjoy another few minutes of sleep.
And then I’ll be able to catch a few winks myself…at least that’s the plan.