I am a few days behind on blogging about this, hopefully better late than never! May 1st is a very important date for our ranch. It is the date we put the bulls in with the cows. We put them in on this day, so our cows will start calving on February 1st. A cows gestation period is nine months, just like a human. The calving start date differs from ranch to ranch. We have decided on the 1st of February because in our area February is the nicest winter month to calve in, it may be snowy and cold, but in our opinion snow and cold is better than wet. When the temperature is cold it keeps diseases at bay and the calves just don’t do very well when it is wet. In other provinces like Alberta and Saskatchewan many ranches calve in the spring or summer, I would love to be able to do that and then the cold is not a factor for the calf’s health, however, in BC we need our animals off our hay fields by spring because we need those fields to produce hay, so we can feed our animals that hay during the winters months when there is no forage available.
In addition, to May 1st being the date we turn our bulls out it is also the date we turn our sprinkle pipes on! In most parts of BC, especially where I am from, it is very dry, so our hay crops would not grow if we didn’t water them. All of our irrigation is wheel lines with a few hand lines. Everyday we move the wheel lines 4 rotations, which is 60 feet, so the water gets sprinkled to every part of the field. This was my job as a kid growing up!