The Downs 3/5/2014

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When I started this blog, I said I was going to blog through the ups and downs of calving season.

Sometimes it seems a person always notices the downs more. Three am Wednesday morning was started with my mother in law busting through my husband and I’s bedroom door yelling about a heifer.

With the weather turning nice, we went back to our regular heavies checking schedule (no checks from midnight to 4 am). We still brought the heifers into the corral just in case though. For some reason my mother in law woke up and heard a heifer in the lot bellar. It was 2:30. She didn’t think much of it till she heard it again, then a third time. At that point she decided to get out of bed and go check.

She found a heifer with her back down hill, calf half born and dead. She came and got us and together we got the heifer into a normal position, pulled the calf and got her up and walking.

Something I learned that night, NEVER, NEVER pull a calf from a cow who has her back downhill. She will prolapse, almost immediately. We had gotten her into a normal laying position, then pulled the calf, which didn’t pull hard at all.

These things frustrate me. I went back to checking them in the middle of the night just because in my head, I can’t justify losing another, especially because we could had lost the heifer too.

It seems the last few years have had a lot of “bumps” or “downs”. Last year especially. But I am a firm believer in blessings in disguise. My husband and I moved here in one of the best summers the ranch has seen, and last year was the worst. So we have a clear vision of the good, the bad, and the ugly. If it weren’t for the bad years, I would take for granted the good.

I have to thank God for the bad things that happen. We’re relatively new to the ranch and are dependent of my husband’s parents to guide and teach us their experience. Moreover, my own parents take such an interest in our endeavors and provide a loving support net that is crucial. I see things happening on our ranch that haven’t ever happened or haven’t for 30 years. Cesareans, backs downhill, every kind of dystocia imaginable, drought, equipment failures, prolapses, you name it. While this is happening and I have to think, thank goodness this is happening now while we have the guidance of my in laws. Someday, hopefully a long ways away, we won’t. So I have to be thankful things are going wrong now.

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