Holding onto the good days

Right now we are in the midst of calving season on our farm. It seems like during calving season things go one of two ways- either really good or really difficult.

A couple days ago the sun was shining and it was nice enough out that I was able to take both Paisley and Avery outside to get some fresh air and to visit with their Daddy while he was working outside. We went for a side by side ride through the herd so I could see how the calves are growing and then we went out to the pen we keep the rest of the cows in who haven’t calved yet. Immediately, I noticed one of the cows in that pen had a wet fresh calf on the ground she was licking off and there was also a pair of feet sticking out of the cows back end- she was in the midst of having twins! But, the second twin was coming backwards. Luckily, we were right there and Logan was able to get the cow into the barn while the girls and I drove the first twin up to the barn in the side by side. Paisley slept through the whole thing, but Avery got to watch the second twin be born. Logan helped the cow deliver the second calf by putting her in the maternity pen in the barn and using a length of chain to gently pull the calf out by it’s back legs while momma cow pushed. The calf was born healthy and lively and I was so proud of Logan for so efficiently assisting with the birth, the fact that Avery got to watch the whole thing made it even better. On the farm, these are our family bonding moments!

But, things don’t always go so swell.. just the other day we had a snowstorm and it seemed like half the herd decided to give birth in that mess. Logan and Adam were outside pretty well all day doing their best to ensure every newborn calf got licked dry by their mothers, warmed up in the barn, and had their first belly full of milk from their mommas. They filled and emptied the barn, wrangled wet calves, and fed and bedded all the cattle. And farming isn’t just a 9-5 job either, that night Logan didn’t finish working for the day until close to 1AM. It’s long, hard, exhausting work (even with Adam, Barry, and Logan all sharing the workload) and it makes a person tired and maybe a touch irritable. (There’s a reason people sell shirts with the slogan “I’m sorry for what I said during calving” LOL).

The thing that keeps all farmers and ranchers going though, I think, is the fact that we all know those tough times don’t last forever. And those really good days are never spaced too far apart to forget them. As a farm, and as a family, we depend on those good days to help get us through the difficult times.

I hope wherever you are out there, holed up at home with your families to prevent the spread of COVID-19, that you remember that these tough days can’t last forever and more good days are coming.

-Julie

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