Hooray for the Red, White & Blue

Hooray for the Red, White & Blue

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Heartbreak and Hallelujahs


Sometimes, farming breaks your heart. This mama cow lost her calf to cold temperatures over the weekend. Despite Randy checking the pastures frequently because of the snow and cold, her baby didn't survive the frigid wind chills overnight.

Randy put the calf into the back of the pickup to take it away. Now, every time we come into the pasture, she follows the pickup around. We can hear her bawling from the house. It just doesn't seem fair that such a good mama lost her baby. But that is life - and death - on a farm.
We didn't get the 6 inches of snow that some meteorologists were forecasting. The snow we did get was fairly dry, so it likely won't help the wheat crop too much. We were glad to miss the sleet that had been forecast for Sunday.

The snow did make for chilly rounds during the Saturday checks of the heifers and the cows. Besides the death in the pasture south of the house, we had another heifer calve and two other live births from cows.
Several of the calves huddled down in the hay to get warm.
Others got out of the wind in the dried prairie grasses.
Still others stayed closed to their mamas.
 
Nothing like warm milk on a chilly day, right?
By Sunday evening, most of the snow had melted. That was OK with us. I'm guessing it was OK with the cattle, too.

8 comments:

  1. Oh I am sorry we have had a couple of those ourselves and it is never easy for me. I do hope the weather changes soon. Nice calf born this morning healthy and happy, that I hope continues it is much easier to deal with. Take care. Hug B

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    1. Thankfully, the majority do well. But that doesn't mean we don't feel badly about the few we do lose. Good luck with the rest of your calving, too!

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  2. I am always amazed by people who have never been around rural life. They seem to think that it is such an easy job & always a happy ending. Perhaps those of us who grew up around it have a more grounded sense of life since we've witnessed life & death as part of everyday reality. We don't have to understand it, but we do have to deal with it. Thanks for reminding the world that life on the farm is both difficult & rewarding.

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    1. Thanks, Debora. With some activist groups actively looking for ways to denigrate farmers and ranchers, I really do think about whether or not to share the "bad news." But I also believe that if the goal is to tell the story, I should tell the whole story.

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  3. The snow and cold always make for that much more work during an already extremely busy time. One does have to deal the element of death on a farm, we learn the cycle of life.

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    1. It is a privilege to witness it and learn from it. And, the good far outweighs the bad.

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  4. The good definety outweighs the bad. But gosh darnit, the bad can really drag you down. I always feel so bad for the mama cows when they loose a calf.
    2 heifers to go. Put an arm in them to see how voles they are. 5-7 days. Sigh.
    Cheri

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    1. Patience is not my virtue, so I can relate! Hang in there, Cheri!

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