Calving is a difficult job in the best of conditions but when temperatures plunge and windchill is below -40, it presents a new set of challenges. 

"The most important thing when it's this cold is to prevent the baby calf from getting chilled," explained Dr. Carol Ross, a veterinarian with the Prairie Animal Health Centre. "Obviously they come out wet and they need to get dry as quick as possible. For most producers, that's going to mean that they are calving indoors. So they'll be calving in a barn, out of the wind. And potentially putting those newborn calves into some sort of a hotbox so they can have an external source of heat and get them dried off."

Special warm head-wear can also be used on the calves so their ears won't freeze. 

She adds that it's important for calves to get warm so they will have their first feed. 

"A calf isn't going to have their first suck if they get cold before they can get moving. So after you get them dried off, the second most important thing is getting the colostrum into the calf."

Colostrum is the first milk a cow will produce for it's calf.

"Colostrum has an important source of fat that the baby calf needs to burn as energy initially. It also come out warm so it helps to warm them up and gives them that important immunity for the rest of their life."

Dr. Ross also explained that when producers have many cows that are expecting, they will sort the cows into groups and bring those about to calve into the barns overnight when it's this cold.

"So if they do happen to calve, they're at least inside because outside in this windchill, a calf really wouldn't have a chance. It's a matter of paying really close attention and doing frequent checks and then getting them indoors for the actual event of calving."

She mentioned that calving season is well underway, epsecially the purebred calves in order to get their most mature bull calves to market next year.

She also noted that most producers will be drinking more than their share of coffee this time of year. 

"It's a lot of work to calve in this weather so next time you're eating a hamburger, thank a local rancher."

READ MORE: Calving Season Preparation Begins

More Local News

Autism Funding Comes Up Short

With the recently released budget, the provincial government bumped the number of funding families with children with autism under the age of six receive. The funding is being increased from $4,000 a…

Envision Counseling Get's A Boost With Budget

In the 2019-20 Provincial Budget, it will include a strong focus on mental health. Funding for targeted mental health and addictions initiatives ins increasing by nearly $30 million in this budget to…

C.U.P.E Not Happy With The Provincial Budget

With the provincial budget released on Wednesday, there were cheers and boos from all corners of the province, one group that has almost nothing good to say about the budget is the Canadian Union of…

EPS Deal With Multiple Calls Last Night

The Estevan Police Service had another steady night last night with issues ranging from assault to theft there was no shortage of work for the boys in blue. Sgt. Tyler McMillan gave us some of the…

The EPS Make One Arrest for Assault Last Night

The Estevan Police Service was busy making the rounds last night, The intense hockey game kept most peoples attention for the night however there were a few incidents of note. Sgt.Tyler McMillan.…

Saskatchewan's Population On The Rise

The population in Saskatchewan is on the rise and has been since at least 2007. The population grew by 11,459 people in 2018 to 1,168,423 according to new figures released by Statistics Canada. The…

100 Kids Who Care Growing In Popularity

100 Kids Who Care are stronger together and the children are making a big impact right here in our community. Brooke Spagrud with how the last meeting went, "We had 39 to 40 kids, but one thing we…

Southeast College Holding Speed Networking Event For Students And Business Leaders

The Southeast College is trying something new and holding a speed networking event here in the energy city. It's being billed as an opportunity to meet with local business leaders and work on their…

Rafferty Rumble Gearing Up For Exciting Summer

The Rafferty Rumble is gearing up for a summer of excitement and entertainment. Josh LeBlanc Head Organizer of the Rafferty Rumble, "The Rafferty Rumble will take place from July 26th to the 28th,…

Sidhu Sentenced To Eight Years In Prison

Families and friends of the Broncos, most adorned in Broncos jerseys bearing their family names, gathered once again in the makeshift courtroom at the Kerry Vickar Centre in Melfort to learn the fate… is Estevan's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide