Much of the country was socked in on Christmas by a snowstorm that dropped lots of snow and temperatures well below freezing. While it was inconvenient for many families to have to postpone their family celebrations to another day, it was downright hard work for farm families taking care of livestock. We had two family Christmas gatherings planned and they were both postponed. We do have 4-wheel drive pickups and plenty of horsepower that we could have made the drive to Grandma's house, but with the extra chores and extra time it took taking care of the cattle, we had no time left for opening presents!
As the kids and I began sorting the cattle into their calving groups, my husband once again, used the skid loader to clear snow out of the working pens so we could open and close the gates! Once the snow was cleared and we had the cows sorted up, we were able to give them their needed vaccinations and get them to their new pens or pastures in preparation for calving. I doubt that we will have much of this snow melted by the time we have our first calf born, but we have done all that we can to be ready!
Now that we finally had a chance to get together with our families for Christmas, and the weather has finally warmed up enough to enjoy being outside again, we are prepared for calving season. It should be a couple of weeks before the first calf arrives, but with the stress of the cold weather, extra care and feed are needed to have healthy strong calves. If you are not willing to work hard in really difficult conditions, do not consider cattle ranching! The cows need cared for on a schedule--and not just when the weather is nice! So we bundle up, wear lots of layers and warm boots, and head outside to take care of the livestock who depend on us. This is not the fun part of my job, but it is one of the most important parts!
I look forward to posting pictures of our first calves in a few weeks! Those little wobbly babies snuggling up to their wooly mama cows makes all the work worthwhile!