Monday was bitterly cold. When Ben did the 3 AM heifer check 926 was calving so he got her in the barn. Him and Anna ended up pulling it. Lots of calves Monday, I guess because they all want to calve in the cold? Gloria, Baby Arcee, Pinda, 931, 926 and Autumn all calved. Ben, Anna and Kaine worked on thawing water, feeding, putting out straw and trying to keep everyone warm on Monday. Sometimes that is all a person can do in a day, and it is the priority, keep the livestock healthy. Meachams came home from Clarkston and were home in time for chores, and for Mike to come and look at their furnace, which he wasn’t able to fix. When mom has time to sit down, she is sitting in her chair with her heated vest on (in the house) under her heated blanket. But she likes to stay really warm. Sometimes when we go in the house after chores we start sweating. Maybe that is why Dad got himself a new tv and now watches tv in the other room?
Tuesday the cold and snow continued. Ben tells me it is not as cold. Toni tells me her house is very cold, except upstairs. She has a big trial on Wednesday, so is trying to stay warm in her office working. A few more cold babies born on Tuesday. Ben and the kids just worked on keeping water in front of the animals, keeping the calves in straw, and anything calving going into the barn. The Meacham’s furnace got fixed Tuesday night. We are so thankful that we Mike Niles of Ringold Refrigeration to use for these types of repairs. We went up to Nists Tuesday night and had our annual Christmas dinner. We got dessert to take up with us from Cowpath Bakery in Othello. It was a huge hit. Kenzie and Daniel are having a baby girl so we are all excited about that.
Wednesday, guess what, big surprise for winter, still cold and snowy. Toni had to drive to court, but the roads were not too bad. The baby born at 3 am Wednesday morning got to come in the house and warm up. He was a cold little fella. Toni was done by noon and came back home earlier than expected. She won her case, yeah. None of us feel great. I think we are all just tired and cold. It is hard to be energetic and in good spirits when the weather is dark and cold. Anna worked on her show heifers on Wednesday, since we had some sun. The good news was that Wednesday was my last day of work until 2022.
Thursday we checked in the AM, and then ran to Othello to get my pickup that was done at Deweys. It was nice having my Colorado back and having working 4 wheel drive in the snow. After that we got the cows in and sorted off the heavy ones and locked them up by the house, so when we get up all night to check them it is a lot closer and we do not have to drive all over. We still have to check the cows during the day, but when we are checking all night now we just go out to the run. Todd, Garrett and Camas came over and played games.
Friday was New Year’s Eve, Happy new Year everyone. We were supposed to go to grandmas and hang out with everyone in the show barn, but due to the cold and checking all night we did not go. We are checking every two hrs so we could not have stayed long. We spent the day putting out straw, feeding and thawing ice. Normally Ben gets some good fence built when he is home from work but this year it seems like it got really cold really fast and we spend time just keeping everything going. So we were boring on Friday night. Someone let off fireworks about 7:00 pm ish and Toni’s dog ran off, but she ran to Mom’s so Toni went and got her. Lucy does not like big bangs. She has a tendency to run off when there is shooting. During hunting season Toni kept her in the garage quite a bit. For anyone that doesn’t know Lucy, she is Toni’s Idaho Shag with all the hair
Saturday Kaine’s friend Camas came over and helped. After checking we went down to mom and dads and got some of the smaller calves in to sell to a repeat buyer. We get them in to the corral that holds Jackpot and Stetson. Jackpot tries to bite the calves over the fence. Stetson isn’t quite as aggressive. A calf got in with Jackpot and Ben had to run over and save it. Jackpot will get them. That is a sign of a good cowhorse. Then Kaine, Camas and Ben went and picked the 5 up and Anna and I put straw in with the show steers and let the cows and calves out of the barn. Then we did chores and played card games until late. Even with how cold it is, the weanling foals are doing pretty good, as are the weanling calves. The calves are all really gaining well.
Sunday the cold continued. No new babies, just trying to keep everyone warm. The old Hereford bull Scrat died. Scrat, Betty White and Shining Spark, we lost a lot of greats at the end of the month. For those of you that know Rocky the Hereford bull, he is older than Scrat, but still doing ok. We are going to miss Scrat. Otherwise everything is doing pretty good. One of the weanling colts, Starlight, seems to be impacted by the cold and acts a little colicy, but we have hit him now twice with that Zestera product and he has gotten better right away. Also on Sunday the men put out more straw to all of the horses. In memory of Scrat below.
I love seeing all those memes about how if you like winter/snow you probably don’t have livestock. TRUE! We don’t love winter or snow. Yes, it can be pretty. Yes, we can get some neat pictures, but it is hard on animals, humans, everything. On a positive note Jaxsen loves breaking ice with an ax. No joke. Toni went down to help him one day thinking that he would be having a hard time, nope. He told her to be useful and go do something else. 1) He has an ax, which we don’t really let him have sharp things in general because we are afraid of what he is going to do to the other kids; and 2) He gets to break things and it is a positive thing. So we have finally found something on the ranch he likes to do.
The end of 2021! No crystal ball here, but we hope that prices will stay up. If you made a New Years resolution to get back into horses, let us help you. We have a few for sale and they are all great. We have 2 weanling colts, some fillies with prices, and we can do 2022 in vitro contracts if you have a favorite mare that must have the foal out of. Let us know!