Baby’s First Toboggan Ride

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Depending on the weather, sometimes we have to pull the newborn calves up to barn in our “calf sled”. We do this if the weather is really cold and wet. We have found that calves do a lot better and keep for getting sick if they can stay dry for their first couple of days of life. This past February the entire month was miserable and cold, -20 and colder, and lots of snow, so we tried to calve everything in the calving barns in hopes of preventing the calves from getting sick. However, sometimes the mama cows don’t cooperate and have their baby out in the field in the snow. This is where the calf sled comes into play. If we feel the weather is too cold and too wet for the calf to stay outside we will walk down with the sled, put the calf in the sled and tow him into the barn. Usually this works well because the mom will follow the smell of her calf and follow the sled right into the barn. However, sometimes it does not work out that well, especially if you are dealing with a heifer’s calf. A heifer is a female who has calved for the first time, therefore the whole experience is new and a bit frightening so throwing a calf sled in the mix can really throws things for a loop. The majority of the time the heifer will follow her calf in the sled as well, but occasionally she just runs around looking for the calf and returns to the last place the calf was. This can be frustrating because when this happens it usually turns into quite a chore chasing the heifer around, so she follows her calf. If only we could communicate with them that we are just trying to help….

~Erika Strande~

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2 thoughts on “Baby’s First Toboggan Ride

  1. Hi I’m an author and doing some research for my next book, where some girls get some jobs on a cattle ranch. Would you be willing to speak with me on the phone and answer some questions? My email is chevy@chevystevens. com

    Thanks in advance,

    Chevy

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