Kate & Pippa

Recently we had extremely cold weather for our area! The temperature dropped down to -28 degrees celsius and our stress went up.
We were at the very beginning of our calving season when this frigid weather came. Even though not many heifers or cows were calving yet, we still checked the cows every two hours, just to be sure. By ‘not many calving yet’ I mean that when we really get going, we can get up to 17 calves in one day. Thank goodness that was not the case then!
I would like to tell you about ‘Kate’. Kate is an animal that we have entered into a competition at our local Fall Fair. The competition is called the ‘3 Year Challenge’. The first year you enter a 6 month old female calf. Our daughters were excited because this meant they got to watch their dad get drug around the corral, as he halter-broke her!
Here is a video of the 2nd time Kate was on a halter (for some reason we missed videoing the 1st time!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=retvRLxaiN8
All the entries are brought to the fair, paraded around and judged. These halter-broke Fall Fair animals get special treatment, as they are washed, combed, blow dried and made to look clean and beautiful: Show Cattle. After her time in the spotlight, she is put back with all of her other peers (our herd) and spends the winter with the other cows. The following summer, she is exposed to a bull and hopefully gets bred. That fall, when she is one and a half years old she is brought back to the Fall Fair and competes again. Here is a video of Kate at the Fall Fair. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LO-juES7Dfs
Once again the cycle repeats its self, but now we get to the present day in my story. SO, the coldest day of the winter and who decides to calve? Yes: Kate! (who is named after the Royal ‘Kate’ of course!) She calved in the late afternoon and was moved into the barn with 3 other new mothers. She had a baby girl and we named her ‘Pippa’. Yes we know that is Kate’s sister, but we liked the name. We were going to name her calf ‘George’ if she had a boy, but she didn’t. It was the best we could come up with other than Camilla! After supper my daughter and I looked at each other and decided we needed to go out and check how she was doing, as we were worried about her ears. When we got out to the barn, sure enough the tips of her ears were starting to freeze. When calves come out and they are all wet, and if it is really cold, this happens. You know this because in your hand the tip of the ear feels very cold and stiff, like cardboard. So we held her ears in our hands and rubbed them until they felt warm again, then my daughter sacrificed the neck-tube off her own neck and we put it on Pippa. This pins their ears back to their head and helps to keep them from freezing. You only leave it on until the calfs ears are dry and then they are fine (they freeze because they are wet). Here is a picture: DSCN5419
Thankfully the weather has been on a warming trend. Kate and Pippa are doing very well. I will try and remember to keep you updated on them, especially when Pippa gets to go to the Fall Fair!
~Erika Fossen~

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One thought on “Kate & Pippa

  1. Kathy says:

    Kate and Pippa…too cute! And the neck warmer….awe….warm ears are a good thing!

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