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Calving season for a Kentucky cattleman

by Evan Tate

In absence of blog ideas, I was commissioned to tell the tale of ‘calving season.’ In response, I have decided to give a little insight into the last 60 days of my life.

What is life like during this time? For starters, you learn that you can operate on less than a full nights rest! If at all possible, we either try to calve in the front pasture (has less hiding places) or weather depending – a calving lot adjacent to our calving barn.

Although we have paid attention to calving ease traits, it still seems necessary to keep a watchful eye on all goings on! With that said, production cost on the rise and value of a calf at weaning seems to further incline me to pull all-nighters!

There is one thing for sure, you are never truly able to tell what’s going on inside from your vantage point on the outside!

Fortunately for us, we only had to assist in calving two cows this spring. One of those was a first calf heifer which just needed some “coaching” and one of our donor cows which had triplets (fairly rare). Even more interesting, she did it at 12 years of age with no exogenous supplements.

For those of you who are “non-bovis,” let me define the word “assist.” We simply aid in the delivery of the calf in whatever capacity needed just as a doctor would aid in the birth of a child. Post partum (after birth) we do diligence in providing electrolytes and vitamins to all calves born so that they may have strength and energy to get up and nurse in order to consume more than enough colostrum to begin a life of well being.

I must state that I had originally intended at this point to provide dramatic reference of the potential hardships incurred during a typical calving season – However, I love my job!! This in itself seems to erase any and all negative occurrences.

If it takes me staying up all night to make sure there are no birthing complications so that in the end of the calf’s life cycle your family or mine may sit down at the dinner table and share a Blessed, nutritious meal then I say, “Thanks be to God for the Opportunity!”

I completely understand that this gives you a very vague glimpse in to what I actually do for four months a year – but to that I say, there are some things I can’t depict in words, and so if you are inclined to know more, you are invited to an on farm – hands on – experience! Come; be apart of this rewarding experience as the culmination of God’s engineering see’s the world outside the womb for the first time and begins a life intended for the benefit of human kind!!

 

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