Off to the races with calving season, just over 300 calves already on the ground! Basically half way through! With calving season in full swing, everyone at the ranch is keeping very busy trying to keep up with all the cows. Duties currently include checking cattle every few hours, tagging newborn cattle, keeping herd health up, and maintaining equipment, all while maintaining feeding schedules and health in the feedlot.
Evening calving checks can be beautiful.
Here at the ranch, we tag each calf with a colour and number coordinated tag to match the cow. We tag, castrate bulls, and give vitamin vaccines to the newborn calves as soon as the calves have sucked from the cow and the cow has claimed the calf. This year has been an unfortunate year for calving ease. We have had to pull more calves out of heifers than usual. Dpeneding on the location of the animal when it is found in distress, we either use the field corral or walk them back to the yard in order to properly assist them. Sometimes this means walking up to 3 kms behind the cow, if we are unable to move them safely and efficiently with the truck, quads, or horses.
With the spring weather changing every year, we have pushed back our calving season to start in April and continue into May, with bulls being out for 60 days total. We have been fortunate this year that the weather is cooperating to benefit calf health and survival rates. However, with pushing the calving season back, we run into the problem of needing to get into the field to spread fertilizer and pro-till the land to be reading for seeding. It is taking everyones full effort and long hours to keep up with these busy times. We truly appreciate all our employees and how hard they are all working to keep things running smoothly.