Thursday, February 21, 2013

Snow Day on the County Line

Taken Wednesday morning, February 20. Checking cattle is going to be harder going this morning, with 13+ inches on the ground.

It's another snow day here on the County Line. But it doesn't mean just curling up with a good book or watching a movie on TV, though those will likely be on the agenda at some point today, too.
Taken through an old wooden fence as Randy went to walk through the cows.
It is calving season, so the guys have to check the cows to make sure they aren't having problems delivering their babies.

They check to make sure the moms are claiming their newborns and letting them eat. Nothing warms up a new baby calf like warm mother's milk, straight from the source.
The preparations began the day before, when Jake fed at all three locations and also unrolled straw to provide some bedding during the storm.
This is a photo from 2011. I wasn't home during the day on Tuesday to take photos of the preparation.
The bedding straw gives the cows a place to hunker down. Jake unrolled the straw near trees, which also provides a windbreak for the cattle.
This little calf arrived yesterday and snuggled down in the hay by a feed bunk to stay warm.

He got a new "earring," too, as Randy gave him an ear tag while his mama watched around the corner, keeping a watchful eye. (The first number on the tag - the 3 - indicates that the baby was born in 2013. Last year's babies were tagged with ear tags which began with a 2.

These photos were all taken yesterday morning. Today, we have 13-plus inches on the ground, so getting through the snow is going to be a challenge. This is one of those days when we're glad we don't have heifers to calve out. (Heifers are first-time moms. They are more likely to need help with delivery. Click here for a post showing photos of a birth on the farm last winter.) The decision was made because we have less feed available because of the second year of drought. He also thought it would be better since he is still under the 10-pound weight restriction after his back surgery in November.
The mama cows often "listen" to their natural instincts. The mama in the top photo delivered her calf in the corner of a lot, where the calf was protected from the wind and in a little hollow.
It's good all these guys have their own warm "coats" to keep them toasty. Click here to see more about feeding cattle during the winter.


  1. Cute little calves! I miss that part of living in the country!

  2. Yes, they are cute! I hope they hold off and no more are born today. It's tough to even help them right now.

  3. Glad to hear you got some moisture, Kim. Mom says they have 7-8" of snow. They are in South Central NE.

    I know snow makes a lot of extra work, especially during calving. Good Luck and I hope all goes well through this storm.

    1. Thanks, Robyn! I am definitely feeling some new muscles after walking through 14-15 inches of snow yesterday!

  4. I love your photos. Keep up the good work!