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Calving almost done, seed cleaning begins

Eppich News: Looking forward to 2021 horse-breeding program

This new brood mare will have a nice fit into a program of producing good ranch and pleasure horses. For more information check out the website: EppichQuarterHorses.com.

The middle of March found us in the middle of calving and at the beginning of seed cleaning. March 18, Gregory got the cleaning plant cleaned up and checked everything to make sure it was all in working order, and then the next day he started cleaning the oats.

March 21 we had another tragedy. We had a heifer calf that was just about a month old die after it got stepped on. The ravens have been bothering the cows lately and there are a couple of cows that are very protective. In trying to run the ravens off, someone stepped on a calf.

We had a blizzard March 29. The wind was blowing so hard that there was very little visibility in the yard even though it is surrounded by trees. There was almost no visibility out in the open. We made sure that the calves had access to the shelter, but the wind was whipping the snow around and there was not a dry spot. We brought a straw bale out and forked fresh straw out for them several times during the day. The next day the wind had stopped but it was cold. Our work paid off though, and all the calves were dry and healthy.

We had a busy day March 31. The last foal of the 2019 crop went to his new home, our new broodmare arrived, and the guy came to pick up the eight cow-calf pairs that we had sold him. Our new broodmare is an older girl but we are very excited to add her bloodlines to our program.

On Easter Sunday we had a beautiful service and it was so nice to see more families in church. Thank God the COVID restrictions were lifted enough to let our small community be able to celebrate Easter together.

As the days passed the weather was often unpredictable and the wind was almost constant, but the temperatures did start to get better. James and Joseph always want to be outside and play and it’s hard to keep them indoors when the weather isn’t as nice.

Heifers calve back to back

April 7 brought a new experience. As we went out to do chores, we found a heifer out flat and straining. She was obviously in need of help so I ran home and got the calving box with the chains and handles, hot water and betadine antiseptic. As we headed across the corral to get the maternity pen set up, we found another heifer out flat and straining. A second heifer needed help at the same time! We got the closest heifer into the head catch and we pulled her calf. Thankfully it was coming right and was just a little bit too big for her. It came nicely with some help from the chains and handles. We made sure the heifer calf was breathing and then we went to help the second heifer.

The second heifer was out flat still but got up when we approached her. Luckily, we were able to get her into John’s old maternity pen. This was a little bit harder of a pull but thankfully again the calf was coming properly. We successfully pulled a red white-face bull calf and got him breathing. As soon as his airway was clear and he got a couple of good breaths of air, he was trying to get up. When we let his cow out, she went right to mothering him and he got right up and nursed.

The other pair was a bit slower but the heifer loved her calf and got her up and nursing before long. This calving season has been a challenge for sure. We’ve had some losses that were hard to deal with, but we have also been able to work at it and save some as well.

About the author

Contributor

Heather Eppich is a young former Idaho rancher building a new farm and family with her husband and young son, near Handel, Sask. Contact her at: [email protected]

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