Before I left for Ottawa I offered to do my husband and dad’s night checks. I was trying to be a real team player because when I was gone to Ottawa they would have to pick up my slack. Boy did I regret that!
Sunday night I did my dad’s check and at 8pm it was uneventful, but I went out at 11 to do mine and one of our meanest cows had calved right near a big puddle. I needed to bring the calf into the barn because he was born in the snow, but also because he was so close to this puddle I was worried when he tried to get up and walk to nurse he might fall into the puddle, but there was no way I could get close to the calf with out her chasing me off. I had to call Cyle to come and play bullfighter for me. We got that calf in and then I found another calf, so we drug him in as well.
I offered to do Cyle’s check at 3 because I woke him up, but he declined.
Monday night I did dad’s check and it was a gong show I had a heifer calve at 7pm, a cow calve at 8pm and another cow calve at 9pm. All was well with all the calves so I went back in the house to sleep for a few hours before my 11 pm check. When I went out I noticed that the calf s20 was not doing very well, so I put him in the “hot box” and just thought he was cold, it was bout -10 out, but he was born in the barn on dry ground and just figured he needed a bit of a warm up.
That night I did do my husband’s check and when I went out at 3 s20 was really going down hill, so I ran plugged the heat gun in and blow dried him off, but it seemed like he was dying. So I unfortunately called my dad o get him to come and give me a hand. We carried the calf into our calving shack it’s a little one room building we built with a wood stove and fridge (its more of us where medicine and tags are stored, but in times like this we can bring a really cold or sick calf in here. Thats what we did.
We dried the calf off and tubed him have some milk and electrolytes to see if that would help. We thought we were making progress, but unfortunately he died. We are not sure why. There must have been something else wrong because I watched his birth and nothing went wrong there and it wasn’t that cold and he was born in the dry barn. This is so frustrating I hate losing a calf, but that is mother nature and part of our job, unfortunately. So that night dad and I went to sleep at 5:30.
Tuesday night also known as the night/morning of my flight to Ottawa. I did my check at 11 and found 2 calves born out in the snow, so I gave them their free toboggan ride into the barn. Came back out at 3 to do Cyle’s check, this one had to go off without a hitch because I had to leave by 3:30 to catch my plane to Ottawa. Things were looking good until I saw a cow with a backwards foot sticking out. Then panic hit. I ran the cow in and ran back up to the calving shack to grab the calving chains. I decided to call my husband because I was getting pressed for time. Once again trying to do a favour and having to wake him up anyways!
It was a tough pull, but I managed to pull it by myself and by the time my husband got down to the barn I had just pulled the calf.
This cow calved backwards a few years ago and I pulled it and she ended up pooping all over me. All I could think while I was pulling this calf is please please don’t poop on me I don’t have time to shower!!! She didn’t thankfully and I made my plane just in the nick of time.
I have had quite a few sleepless nights and didn’t really end up giving my dad or husband much more sleep if they had just done their own checks:(