Beef Ambassador, Emilee, talks winter calving.
Whether it is -30 or 10 above, life as a farmer keeps going. Caring for our cattle during the winter months can be challenging at times. Frozen waterers, consistently keeping up on their food supply, and calving season.
Hi everyone, I’m Emilee White from Wadena Minnesota, and a member of the Minnesota Beef Ambassador Team. On my family farm, we have forty-five cows, which get fed cattle silage (chopped corn and stalks), and free-choice hay, which we’ve cut and baled the summer prior. Along with feeding our cows, bulls and calves, we also feed our show heifers their daily ration of ground corn and a grower pellet. Along with specifically formulating the diets of our cattle, we also make sure to check our three automatic waterers one to two times a day. Life doesn’t get any worse than having a frozen Ritchie waterer system!
When the temperatures drop, we make sure that we are prepared for what’s to come. Out of our forty-five cows, twenty-seven of them are bred and have calves throughout the months of February through May and September through November. With calving season, we prepare our barn by making sure it’s properly bedded (add with straw or corn stalks) and everything is sealed up to help keep the cold wind out. We run a camera in our barn to help monitor the cows for when we are gone, and for keeping watch from inside our house during the middle of the night. We will normally bring our cows, that are close to calving, up to the barn a week or two prior to watch them more closely. After the calf is born, we will let their mom lick them off and then we will put it in the calf heater (explain) which helps them dry off and ensures that they will not get sick or frost- bitten. The best part of newborn calves is that we get to put jackets and ear muffs on them, which is the cutest thing in the world! However, our job doesn’t stop there; we have constant supervision over mom and her baby to make sure they stay safe.
After all, a farmer never gets a day off!
*Today’s blog and images provided by 2016-2017 Minnesota Beef Ambassador, Emilee White.