Standard Calving Day

Nothing really ground breaking happened today. So I thought maybe someone would like to know just what one of my days in calving season is like. I’m not going to pretend to be a super rancher. In fact, I am basically a domestically challenged small town girl that married a rancher and has struggled to adjust to the ranch culture. To the best of my memory (which isn’t much good after 3 weeks of going to bed at 3 and getting up at 7:30 to 8) this is what I did with my time today:

    • 7:30 am- woke up, wandered upstairs, retrieved coffee, had toast, returned to basement and cuddled my cat on the couch, falling back asleep till 8.
    • 8:00- realized my husband is missing and may need some help, oops. I went upstairs and started to put on my coveralls before I changed my mind and decided to actually wear jeans instead of sweat pants. Changed pants, then got dressed for outside
    • Found my husband in the barn, put out the cow/calf pairs we grafted and talked about the morning plans
    • While my husband went to feed hay in the tractor, I caught and saddled my horse and rode to the calving lot to move cow #360 to the cow meadow.


    • Moved cow #240 from the heifer lot to the heifer meadow.
    • Rode back to the horse barn, unbridled my horse, and let him loose to eat hay while still saddled.
    • Pitched hay to a couple cows in the holding pens
    • Got the cake truck, filled it with cake, caked calves and cattle in the heifer meadow and lot. Spotted coyote prowling my calves and instantly waged war.


    • Retrieved AR-15 and returned to calving lot, stalked coyote in my sight, doubted my aiming abilities, and waited for my husband
    • Husband finished feeding, recruited him to shoot coyote (told him to aim high as the sight is off and aims, low)
    • BANG, regretted telling him to aim high, the dirt flew just over the coyote’s back and it ran to the trees
    • Checked heavies and wrote down the numbers of the cattle that have calves that need to be tagged.
    • 11:00 Came in and started frying potatoes and making hamburgers for lunch, ate lunch, cleaned up after lunch
    • 12:45 Watched 15 min. of Gunsmoke
    • 1:00 Husband and I went to tag calves, so I chased cows, occasionally screaming, “she won’t respond to my shovel! hurry up!” while my husband tagged (they tend to be more feisty in the afternoon)


    • Tagged cow #537’s calf as #532
    • Took the blame for failure for tagging 537 as 532
    • Returned to the house to make new tags
    • Re-tagged 532 as 537 (luckily she was a nice cow) Never saw cow #532
    • Tagged a calf in the heifer meadow, the cows were close and obviously since there was a calf there, it was time to sort heavies
    • Retrieved horse from corral and bridled him as my husband saddled up.
    • Rode out to bring in the cows from the heifer meadow (ranching law saw to it that they moved to the farthest portion of the meadow by this time)
    • Sorted heavies
    • Checked heavies on horseback, noticed a heifer whom had just started to calve, decided since she was close and past due we’d bring her into the corral just incase
    • Unbridled my horse to go eat hay again in the corral
    • Watched my horse start to roll in my saddle as I screamed “NO CASH! Don’t you do it!”
    • Un-saddled my horse


    • Cleaned 4 stalls in the cow barn
    • Noticed the heifer who was supposed to be calving was in a head butting fight with another heifer, ran her into a pen in the corral
    • Tagged calves again
    • Hauled off the calf that died yesterday from Meconium Asphyxiation Syndrome along with the hide we used to graft the calf
    • Noticed a calf born in the cow meadow
    • Tagged calf in the meadow, turned off the pump in the lake
    • Checked heavies again, the heifer hadn’t made any progress so we decided to bring her into the calving chute
    • Pulled the calf, it was alive and healthy
    • Cleaned the calving chute while my husband went to bring in the heifers for the night.


    • Grained horses and had a standoff with a stubborn horse, tied her up in the barn without oats as discipline. Put the other horses in their pen for the night
    • Made dinner, cleaned up after dinner
    • Called a friend to chat, called my mother, read some blogs
    • Checked heavies, one new calf born!


  • 11:00 pm- composed this blog

So that was my day. Tomorrow probably won’t see a blog as I’m excited to get a day off!!!! I’m going bridesmaid dress shopping with my friend for her wedding. I’ll get to see my mom, and spend some time with girls. I need some socialization that doesn’t include afterbirth.


One thought on “Standard Calving Day

  1. wyranchwife

    Wow, a busy day. It’s amazing from one operation to the next how calving season brings an almost identical routine to us all. I wish you success on this calving season. I enjoyed your post and will be back. I hope you enjoyed your day off!


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