This weekend Mother Nature appears to have been in a very poor mood. We had a fair amount rain last week, turning things pretty mushy around our farm. We made the decision to vaccinate our calves on Saturday. By 2:00 pm it was raining (again).
It was soggier than I would have liked, but we made the decision to go forward. Even our resident veterinarian was comfortable processing the calves. We chose to vaccinate early this year in order to give our calves 2 weeks to recuperate before moving them to pasture. In the past, we have vaccinated calves and moved them to their summer pasture all in one day. The stress for the babies to be separated off from their momma’s while being vaccinated and then walking a couple miles to pasture is tough on them. So we thought we’d split out vaccination and moving cattle giving the calves a couple weeks to recover from vaccination stress before moving them.
Then this happened.
It started snowing Sunday and has continued until this AM, We have super wet fields and pens making it very difficult to get around with our machinery. Cows are getting pretty mucky and the calves are cold. I left for work with a pretty big knot in my stomach. Spring storms can wreak havoc on livestock. We are fortunate that we have sheds for the calves to hunker down in and our babies are older. Many farmers are just calving right now without too many facilities. My husband stayed home from work today to help tend our calves. We lost a baby calf overnight yesterday. It’s not clear on whether it was a vaccine reaction (rare, but it happens) or just too cold and stressed, but it hurts to see your livestock suffering. I’m praying today that this passes soon without too much damage and keeping all farmers in my thoughts today.
Some days farming is pretty hard on the heart. But to end on a positive note. With all this moisture, once we get a shot of heat, there will a load of nice lush grass for the ladies and babies to eat.