I am always begging for something to do. Always. And normally there is something to do. My husband is always in the process of teaching me all sorts of things, however, I fully admit I am much better as a teacher, rather than a student. I get annoyed with his slow snail pace of explaining-even though I agree it is much needed. And often find myself wondering, “So this is what my students think when I go slow to make sure they are getting what I am saying…”
(PS…Teachers make the worst students)
In a renowned effort to get me more involved around the farm my husband has found the perfect solution…
I can now take over what used to be “our shift” of checking cows…He has now lovingly deemed it “my shift”.
Our shift to check our pregnant cows is between 1 and 2 AM…normally not a big deal since it’s normally April…which surprisingly makes all the difference, at least to me! However, since we bought those pesky new cows, that shift checking officially started a few weeks ago.
So a few weeks back at 10 PM, I set my alarm for 2 AM.
At 2 AM I wake up to some generic cell phone song blaring. I slowly reach over and turn it off and about 2 minutes later make myself get up.
I walk slowly into our closet grab the closest pair of sweat pants and pull them on as I make my way to the garage.
I have no idea what shoes I put on, or of grabbing a coat…but I did, because it was lying on the floor this morning when I got up to get ready for school.
I just start to wake up as I open the garage door and feel the brutal SD cold. I wake up my sleeping golden retriever, Payton, and she grudingly moves aside for me to walk down the stairs.
I then get in my pick up and drive a mile over to my brother and sister in laws’ house where we keep our cows. I drive slowly by the lot, shine the light on them and make sure that none are popping out a calf, or even suspicous of popping out a calf. I then turn around and drive back home.
I come inside and fall right back into bed and lay there for the next 30 minutes trying to convince myself to fall back to sleep because I have to be up in 4 hours to get ready to head out to sub.
So…Why do it?
When we check on cows…we are mainly checking for a few things.
1. A cow giving birth (or about to). We are looking for cows that are mainly giving birth because we want to make sure everything goes smoothly and safely for that cow. We do not interrupt them during the birth if we feel they are handling everything fine. Giving birth is natural, so therefore, we want to make it natural for them, allowing them to give birth on their own. We step in if we notice the calf not coming out as quick as it should or the cow appearing as if she is in pain.
2. Weather. If we notice a cow has just given birth to a new calf and it’s below zero and the wind is blowing it’s really important to get the cow and calf into the barn. The extreme temperatures can prove unsafe for a wet baby calf.
So, even though I am half asleep at 2 AM it’s still important to look for these things. So, most recently the question I asked my husband…
“What do I do if someone is calving?”
Silly question right? Maybe so, but I grew up lambing on a small farm, helping OCCASIONALLY with lambing…not calving on a large farm. I have never had to pull a calf, but I imagine it’s a lot like pulling a lamb..just a lot bigger.
His response is…”Well, come back home and wake me up. We will wait a few minutes and then go check again.”
My response is…” So, why don’t you just check cows in the middle of the night?”
He smiles and says…”Because you wanted to be a farm wife…”
Right… Gotta love my husband!