Entering The Calving Fray
This post was written during calving 2018
It’s 12:30 AM and my hubby just left to go check cows. It snowed again tonight which increases the likelihood of cold calves and losing ears.
I have our entryway prepped. I have the storm door propped open so he only has to get through one door with a calf.
I’ve got an old sheet out on the floor to try to keep the mess to a minimum. It’ll stay in place as long as our cat doesn’t decide it’s a play thing. I’ve got the baby gates ready in case we get a four-legged runner.
I’m ready to throw my muck boots on and enter the calf warming fray.
But for now I wait, for a text that tells me a tag number and sex of my potential customer or the sound of him pulling up in the pickup.
Do I go back to bed and get a few more minutes of sleep? That’s easier said than done because I know my hubby is out in the snow and wind with the pickup and a flashlight checking for cold calves and dodging protective mamas. It sure would be easier to be our girls, sleeping through the ruckus. But then again that wouldn’t afford me the opportunity to pull together with my hubby in this calf saving quest.
It seems we’re on the downside of this spring time, yet winter-like storm system. We have lost more calves than I’d like. In my mind, one is too many. My hubby reminds me that even a 96% calving rate is great. I’ve had 12 calves in my entryway. Not all at one time, mind you. My record number of calves in the entryway at one time is four! This calving season is definitely one for the record books!
Yesterday morning, after a wakeful night the night before, I was discouraged and allowing myself to be brought down by the calves we’ve lost and the one that we continue to fight to save. A friend texted and asked me how it was going, which prompted me to do something I hadn’t done yet. For the first time, I took the calving book and counted every single one of the calves who are alive and kicking!
71! 71 healthy, bouncing, cute, rambunctious calves! Then I went with Odin to the pasture to check and tag. Seeing them renewed my spirits!
I was so embedded in the poop, death, cold, and the effort to bring back frozen ears and save the calves who aren’t making it, that I missed the 71 miracles of life that were doing oh so well.
Isn’t that just like life? We can get so focused on what is right in front of us or all the struggle that we miss the beauty around us!
So tonight I may close my eyes, but I won’t sleep until he’s home. I won’t dread hearing his extra laden footsteps on the porch. With renewed energy and hope, I’ll warm calves in the middle of the night with my hubby beside me and look forward to seeing them bouncing around with their mommas in the morning’s light!