Our calving season 2023 is underway. According to the calving record book calendar…..it wasn’t to be happening until next week. I know, I know….mother nature has her own calendar and we continue to be humbled by it year after year.
The March weather is giving us grief and challenges. We are grateful for our big hip-roof barn for sheltering mommas with their newborns but unfortunately we haven’t been able to heat it due to some technical hiccups with our ancient heater and the inability to get the propane company delivery truck out here to fill our propane tank! We have to call and deal with someone in a call center most likely in the maritimes (or from their bedroom – who knows these virtual-work-from-home-days??!!) What a beautiful and welcome sight – when that propane truck finally drove into our yard!!
Meanwhile, and this is a first for us, we had back to back twins delivered from a couple of our first calf heifers in the midst of this chill and these challenges. Always exciting to have twins come along – but at the same time, they provide another subset of issues on top of the normal calving and feeding routines for the rest of the herd on a daily basis. Will the mother accept them? Even if she does, will she have enough milk to feed both? (Especially a concern with first calvers).
This little twin was telling me she could use a little more to eat…so I have a warm supply of milk replacer always on hand to help out. Bottle babies are a little more work but it’s sure rewarding to have them need you now and then.
There are probably more rewards than challenges during these long days and nights of calving. Tonight we celebrated the warmth of our barn since that welcome visit from the propane truck and hung out there while our heifer calved peacefully in the pen beside us.