On my Journal of a Spring Blizzard post, I mentioned that I had a few post storm thoughts …
1. Teamwork: work done by several people with each doing a part to contribute to the efficiency of the whole. Calving during inclimate weather is one of the most stressful situations ranchers face. Teamwork becomes a key to success and survival. As a ranch wife I work side-by-side with J. Our work may not be equal (I’m not big, strong or mechanical) but my help is significant. Moral support, being the go-for, good meals, clean clothes and doing little things all make a difference.
2. My Mom is a true believer in having stuff in the freezer. A Ranch Wife never knows when she will need a pop in the oven or crock pot type of meal. The day before the storm I made Irish Soda Bread, during the week I pulled Chili out of the freezer along with banana bread, cookies and cake.
Monday afternoon I prepared Swiss Steak; Tuesday morning I stuck it in the oven with a couple of baked potatoes and headed outside. Thank goodness for a hot meal when we walk in the door for dinner.
J and I are not big leftovers fans, but there are dishes that are better the second time around. Wednesday we ate leftover taco dip on tortillas.
3. During the entire week I only had two times when I got a little crabby and it wasn’t ugly. The first was in the early morning hours of the 3rd consecutive all night check. In April one shouldn’t have to bundle up in winter clothes and check cows all night because the temperatures are in the single digits. Nor should one have to drive calving cows into the barn at said early morning hour and try to avoid getting the 4-wheeler stuck in snow drifts. It crossed my mind that night calving in the winter does not make my list of favorites.
I can’t remember what the second crabby incident was. Most likely I was tired and not thinking clear.
4. There is something to be said for good cow mothers. A cow that has her calf, tends to business liking it off and mothering it. There is something to be said for a calf that jumps up and starts sucking. We call it priceless.
Docile cattle are essential on our ranch; we don’t tolerate wild cattle. We have a few cow that act protective or go through temporary insanity when they calve, but for the most part our cows are tame. Safety is important, especially when checking cows at night and running them through the barn.
I captured this cow calving on my phone camera.
5. There are always silver linings that improve moral during tough times: sunshine, bright blue skies and big puffy clouds, family that are willing and able to help, watching the miracle of birth, healthy lively calves and a shower, just to name a few.
What are some of your calving time or calving during a storm survival tricks?