Calving season is just around the corner. This busy birthing season begins around January and ends around March, but farmers also have to worry about early and late births happening as well.
Calving season means periodical checks throughout the day to see if any cows are in labour, having a tough time giving birth, or if any of them have given birth unexpectedly. My dad also gets up three times throughout the night to check, and if a cow is calving, he will check up on them every half an hour. Since it is winter the last thing he wants is for a calf to freeze to death in the middle of the night.
There are several ways to prevent the babies from freezing, you can bring them into a heated barn, you can dry them off and put ear warmers on their head, or, in the case of one night 15 years ago, you can bring them into the house.
The decision to bring these barnyard animals into the house had to do with the weather getting to 40 degrees below zero. Not the ideal birthing weather, but according to my dad, the worst the weather the more calves are born. That night 10 babies were born. He only had enough room for so many cows in his heated barn, which meant some of the little ones had to come in the house.
While baby cows are the cutest thing ever, it was really gross to have them in our house. They are clumsy and poop everywhere and without any warning. My younger self was horrified that our house was turning into a barn. I didn’t understand the extremes that farmers sometimes have to take in order to save their livelihood.
I will admit that being able to pet the calves and feed them their bottles was pretty cool. Clearly these memories have stuck with me over the years. Over the years, my dad has reduced his amount of cattle, which means, thankfully, we have not had any cows in our house since