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Kim Jo Bliss - Moo's From The Herd

Still battling scours problem

Well, as I was cruising along nearing the end of calving and my getting up through the night, the “s” word hit the fan!

That being scours, which is the same as diarrhea and can be very deadly in young calves.

I needed to be away from home for two-straight days last week so I booked my mom as my farm checker. I predicted that my next two heifers likely would calve while I was away (which would stress my mom out) or through the night (so that I would get little sleep.)

Calves in no rush to arrive

It was one month yesterday (March 11) that my first calf arrived.

I still have seven left and, unfortunately, they are going to take their own sweet time!

At least the weather is more forgiving and that takes a bit of the pressure off!

Once the calves are done, we will be close to the due dates of the lambs. But at least I have room to put them all in the barn and can keep a close eye on them with the barn cameras.

Will winter ever end its icy grip?

Winter certainly is the topic of most discussions—and rightfully so!

With minus-40 temperatures and 14-foot snow banks, we have every right to talk about it!

It certainly is hanging on, and all forecasts are indicating it is going to be colder than normal for most of March!

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I am half done my calving and so far no frozen ears! It has been many more trips to the barn, which means that many more times of getting dressed and tripping over the frozen turds.

Winter storm not welcome

Last week’s winter storm certainly was not a welcome sight!

What a mess—and then with all the drifting, I had stuff lost right in my yard. I also ended up getting the tractor stuck trying to make my way to feed the heifers (couldn’t see my trail and that was it!)

Thankfully, my dad was able to get me out and then he plowed me a few roads so I wouldn’t run into that same problem.

Now it sounds like we are in for a rather cold week.

Looking forward to grass

I spent the Family Day holiday expanding my family as calves are coming. Alas, winter still is very much here with this blowing snow that we really do not need.

I know we shouldn’t complain. It has warmed up—but it doesn’t need to snow every time it does.

I think there is one thing that we all seem to agree on: we are all looking forward to green grass!

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The Rainy River Cattlemen’s Association held its first board meeting since its annual meeting, with Murray McDonald continuing on as president and Bud McQuaker as vice-president.

Calves due to start arriving

Today (Monday) was the official due date for my cows to start calving but I’m hoping they hold off for a couple more days since it looks like the temperatures might be a bit more tolerable.

I’ve been getting up every few hours in the night since Feb. 1—just in case!

I’ve also been putting cows and heifers in and out of the barn just to warm it up. And for the first-time calvers, it is nice for them to learn the system rather than chasing them around in the middle of the night once they are calving!

Bigger calves anticipated

Funny how minus-20 and minus-25 feels warm compared to minus-40 and minus-50!

No complaints but I will take some warmer days and nights!

I notice the cows mostly sleep on warmer nights. But when it was cold, they seemed to be up eating—trying to stay warm and likely keep their minds off the cold!

I am anticipating some bigger birth weights (cold weather in the last trimester usually means more feed intake and bigger birth weights!)

We will see.

Bitter cold causes extra work

The wintery weather is really getting to me—especially the wind!

As I approach calving time, it actually makes me tired just thinking about the extra work the cold causes.

I finally moved my cows home in preparation for calving. Of course, the wind was whipping across the big open field they had to trudge home over and more than half of them wouldn’t come.

I even waited overnight and still the other (stubborn) half hadn’t arrived.

I decided to go and give them a push. But by then they were looking for hay, so they came home fairly easy.

Days thankfully are getting longer

I was told our days are getting a fair bit longer in the evenings and shortly we will start to see it change in the mornings.

That always helps our too long of a winter!

And even though it’s rather chilly today (Monday), the sun shining makes you (or at least me) feel much better! Believe it or not, I get rather crabby and down when I don’t see the sun for a few days.

The sun cheers me up any time of the year.

Lots of bookwork to catch up with

Here we are—already the middle of January! Time sure does go fast.

I should be calving in one month so I need to get myself organized, stuff in place, and supplies ordered.

My cows still are living quite contently in the bush and have been much happier these past few days since we seemed to have moved out of the deep freeze (I hope that’s the end of the cold weather for this winter!)

I was telling a friend the other day that the cattle, rabbits, sheep, tractor, and water (never mind myself) all were in a better mood now that the weather has improved.