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Kim Jo Bliss - Moo's From The Herd

Afraid of a nasty reminder of winter

It’s hard to believe that last year at this time, we still were experiencing minus-40 C conditions.

However, I’m nervous about feeling too excited about spring. I’m afraid we could get a nasty reminder of winter from Mother Nature.

If you’ve been listening to news reports, the poor people of the Maritimes got hit very hard once again with a big snowstorm over the weekend.

Loving that mild weather

I bet everyone is welcoming this weather! The sunshine is great and makes us all feel alive again (or, like a cat, we could just curl up in the sun and sleep).

I still have 10 cows to calve and I was hoping to have most of them done by March 12, which would make it one month since my beginning date. I’m not sure how many of those 10 will calve by tomorrow but it certainly won’t be all of them.

I still have been going out every two-and-a-half to three hours, but I might be able to slack off a bit now that the weather has improved.

In need of a self-help group

Well, I find comfort that March has arrived!

I know it can be a miserable month for weather but at least it should be our last one of the winter.

The sun is shining brightly when we see it and the days slowly are getting longer.

  • • •

I’m officially tired as I had a busy week with calves and little sleep. For some reason, no matter how tired I am, I can’t seem to sleep during the day.

It’s likely because I don’t disconnect well and I have other work to do, so guilt sets in.

Cold snap not at all welcome

As a kid, we started calving pretty much any time after Christmas! In fact, I think we had a calf or two on Christmas Day.

I have never forgotten the long month of January that Nanny always dreaded. It was the longest month, and it was cold and snowy. I wondered why we calved then but was too unsure to understand the reasons.

Slowly we moved our calving dates back, though it wasn’t so much of the fact it was cold and winter-like as much as Nanny felt bad that the cows had so much time to raise these calves before they ever saw green grass.

Calves have begun arriving

Marlee’s heifer from Manitoba calved on Saturday and gave us a nice little heifer.

Sometimes finding names are challenging but she thought “Addie” (after her BFF) would be a good choice.

We have quite a few cows that are getting pretty close now, and so the fun begins of picking and choosing the right ones to bring in.

At least it isn’t quite so stressful as long as the weather stays decent.

These first three calves have been perfect heifer birth weights of 60, 65, and 70 pounds. They do seem quite tiny but being alive and healthy is the best part!

Calving season underway

While many were watching the Super Bowl or the Puppy Bowl on Sunday evening, I was watching the Barn Bowl!

Two of the heifers I purchased last fall were calving. Three of the 5 were artificially inseminated, and two were due on Feb. 1. They made their date!

The other one is due next weekend.

Both heifers had nice, small heifer calves. And so it begins!

My own cows still are about a week or 10 days from calving, but anything can happen now. And when the temperatures are low, you need to be a bit more cautious.

Getting set for calving

It sounds like this spell of mild January weather is nearing the end.

You might want to get out in the next few days since I’m hearing colder temperatures are in store by week’s end.

The positive thing about this? We have this long month behind us and it brings us another month closer to green grass!

  • • •

I moved my cows into the yard–likely plenty early but it gives me comfort in having them closer to home now that they are closer to calving.

Milder temps are welcomed

I think we all are welcoming the milder temperatures these days, animals included.

The cows are taking their time walking across the open stretch coming home for water—instead of running and shaking their heads because the wind and air was bitterly cold.

The deer also are moving around—possibly because of the warmer weather or maybe the wolves are moving them around. Meanwhile, the sheep (even though it’s hard to believe they would ever be cold with all their wool) are spending more time outside these days.

Calving season coming up fast

Frosty temperatures are supposed to be leaving us later this week, so I’ve decided to hold off undecorating my farm buildings for a few more days.

I dread the darkness of the yard without all the Christmas lights anyway.

I certainly have been noticing how we are seeing more and more daylight each day again—and that is a welcome sight. And despite these colder temperatures, the sun sure makes the day seem a bit more pleasant.

My cows enjoy the sunny days since they still are nestled in the bush out of the wind but the sun beats down on them.

Looking forward to a better year

Happy 2015 to everyone! If nothing else, 2015 has brought us some very winter-like weather with both snow and cold reaching us.

We seemed to coast right through December but now the normally-long month of January is proving to be a little more stubborn.

I found 2014 to be a very challenging year, and was looking forward to it being behind us and moving on to a better New Year.

I awoke one day last week to a fuse blown in the barn. This left a frozen barn, one water bowl frozen, sheep water frozen, and the tractor cord with no power.