Calving cows quickly causes cold day conundrum for Sask. farmer
REGINA -- It’s not uncommon for a cattle producer to have to bring in a calf to warm up and dry off during a cold calving season, but three at once was new for Arcola-area rancher Chris Lees.
On a particularly frigid day during a recent cold snap, six of the cows on Lees’ farm were calving at the same time. When his normal spots for warming up newborn calves filled up, he instead brought three calves inside the house.
“You know you might get the odd calf every five, six, seven years but to have three in one afternoon was just unprecedented,” Lees said. “We’ve had [six cows calving] before, we just haven’t had them all at 45 below or what have you.”
According to the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association, it’s not uncommon for producers to find creative ways to warm up calves from extreme cold. From truck cabs to garages and houses, anywhere that gives them enough time to dry off and get their beings will do the job.
“When a calf is born it’s wet, and when it’s really cold that’s going to be a challenge. So the faster you can get them up and dry and warmed up then the better,” said SCA CEO Ryder Lee. “Once they’re dry, their mom’s got them and they’re good.”
Lees said while he doesn’t have to bring in a calf every year, when he does it’s just part of the job.
“It’s easy to bring them in, get them warmed up as I say and get them back to their moms,” Lees said. “They’re just standing there waiting for them to get back to them so they can do the looking after.”
Lees said about 20 of an expected 200 calves have been delivered so far on his farm. He’s hopeful the weather will be more cooperative through the rest of the calving season ahead.