It’s been a difficult — if not devastating — start to the year for many in the agricultural community. And just when areas of North America were finally seeing a respite, and what could possibly have been called spring-like conditions, we’re hit with another round of ice pellets, freezing rain, rain, and/or snow.
For ranchers, the relentless winter has meant giving up more than the already precious little sleep that comes with the calving season. It has meant bringing calves in to warm up in utility sink baths, in front of fireplaces, on heated garage floors, on floor mats in trucks. It has meant plowing snow, bedding daily, and hoping expectant moms will not choose an icy mud puddle to birth in over a warm, sheltered bedding pack. It has meant working hard, pulling long hours, and somehow never feeling like enough has been done.
Besides pulling together a few resources that might help (from pieces on orphan calves to tweets from others in similar situations), we wanted to give a shout-out to everyone who is struggling.
- The Cow/Calf Bond, Orphan Calves & the Dangers of Bottle Fed Bulls
- Developing a Scoring System to Predict a Newborn Calf’s Ability to Suckle
- Managing and Preventing Scours in Calves
- Categorizing, Treating and Preventing Neonatal Scours in Calves
- Keep RFID Tags Warm to Increase Retention
- The Evils of Navel Ill & Other Lowlights of the 2013 Calving Season
Heading out to bring the last group in for calving. If the thermostat could be bumped up a bit and fan down a bit it would be appreciated. pic.twitter.com/mVoKaO7wZt
— Duane Thompson (@teetwodmt_duane) April 16, 2018
Current Conditions: character building.
Long-Term Forecast: significant risk of bulls not going out until September this year.
— Barstow (Jordan) (@barstowmiller) April 16, 2018
— Devin Bruce Hogg (@DevilHogg) April 16, 2018
I’m thinking that this blizzard coming tonight thru Sunday may shorten the calf crop around the tri-state area…10-15” of snow and 50 mph gusts! Come on Mother Nature..some of these calves have only seen the sun 3 times and are a month old…#calving18
— Chad Johnson (@TheChadMovement) April 12, 2018
— Scott Flavel (@scottflavel) April 11, 2018
— Tyler Lind (@Lindsanity34) April 11, 2018
— Jill Heemstra (@jill_heemstra) April 10, 2018
— johnny5 (@johnny5odde) April 8, 2018
— Brandon Gruis (@Grubis33) April 8, 2018
One of those days where I wish we could push pause on the cows giving birth! We still have snow left and don’t need another 4 inches. This little guy was just born and I took him and his mother to the nice straw pack and calf shelter. #calving18 pic.twitter.com/AOwlj9CFyI
— Jason Frerichs (@jasonfrerichs) April 8, 2018
— Cherie (@cheriecbarnes67) April 8, 2018
— Joel Pazour (@burriedrod) April 12, 2018
If you or someone you know is struggling during this incredibly difficult calving season, please reach out to one of the following:
Canada Suicide Prevention Service (CSPS):
Phone: toll free 1-833-456-4566
Your Local Crisis Centre (via the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention):