April 9, 2012 § 6 Comments
It’s been one of those “calving days”. Loosely translated: 72 hours or so of exchanging calves in and out of the warming tubs, barn, pickups, Scout’s kennel: pretty much anywhere that is relatively dry and warm.
A good three day or so stretch that is currently testing everyone’s patience, resolve, and tempers.
More than a few sharp comments have been made. A couple of minor, very minor wrecks had the potential to develop into full on “oh sonofab#%^h!” wrecks.
We’re all tired. We’re all edgy…and we’re all just trying to do the best we can.
In the end, that is all you can do really. Do right by each other, do right by your creatures. « Read the rest of this entry »
March 13, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Well it’s here. The time of year that makes shipping all the more worth it: calving season. The sleep deprivation, the absolute necessity for anything caffeinated, frayed nerves, frayed (and smelly) clothes, and the most basic of wishes: some dang sleep.
It’s the time of year where my house will stay a (bigger) mess, and the little things I enjoy doing take a backseat to some very necessary animal time. It’s a good deal I do most of my socializing with animals, or these next few weeks would be a real drag.
I promised myself I was going to get out a post regarding calving, and since I know what is coming: here it is. Cowdog blogging will quickly morph into cowdog slogging so I can see my writing/attentiveness/ability to stay awake at the keyboard taking a dive.
There is something pretty awesome about watching a helpless calf being born–figuring you’ll tag it a bit later–and in two hours not being able to catch the little cruiser without bulldogging it off the four-wheeler, and a lot of times having the little sucker get away anyway. Ah well. We’ll catch them when we start moving pairs out.
The Father-In-Law had one such nemesis last calving season. She was a little heifer that the above scenario fit perfectly. She’d stay nested in the grass, and as soon as she heard him out checking, off like a shot she’d go. He’d had her by the tail a couple of times–but she’d manage to get away and continue her perfect run as the untagged calf. Pretty sure she made it until branding before getting a new earring–and it was a lot of fun reminding him of that.
I’d be remiss to not mention some of my tagging mishaps. My little steer T-1 was my darling all spring. Until…we found out HE was SHE. Whoops. No worries–maybe T-1 could be a replacement. Uh…she has horns. That shot that in the foot. T-1 went down the road…
Of course nothing spells trouble like a calf that seems nice and docile, only to begin bellering like you just unloaded a pack of Scouts around it. Most of the time Mama comes at a pretty good clip, and if you’re really quick, tired, or overly dumb you might be able to get that tag in–otherwise you’d best get on the other side of your rig.
Yes…calving. Something I look forward too with equal parts dread, and excitement. I can’t lie though. The day that last calf drops…I’ll be taking a huge nap.