The temperatures were fairly mild at the beginning of February. Gregory and John were able to haul the last of the straw bales home from Landis. It worked out well because by this time we had pretty much fed all of the slough bales and the bales that were not quite dry when they were made. When the straw was home, we were able to start chopping it and mixing it with the better-quality bales.
Toward the middle of February, the temperature dropped again. For several days it was -30 C and colder. We were keeping busy feeding and bedding the animals and getting everything ready for calving.
On Feb. 14 David and Maxine Mitchell came for a visit and to deliver two bred heifers that we had purchased. Later that day we ended up bringing the cows up from the pasture and into the corral to give the new heifers some company. The next day we brought the horses in from the field to the pasture where the cows had been.
A season for babies
Later that week, Gregory and I went into North Battleford for our 38-week pregnancy checkup. We then came home and Gregory bedded the corrals for the cows due to start calving Feb. 21 while I finished packing our hospital bag. After supper we drove back into North Battleford. At 8:16 p.m. James John Eppich was born. He weighed 7 lbs 7 oz. He surprised us a bit as his due date was Feb. 28, and so he was 10 days early. We caused a bit of excitement at the hospital as the nurses and staff were not given a chance to do all their paperwork and ask all their questions beforehand.
Joseph was staying with Grandma and Grandpa Eppich. He has spent countless hours over at their place but has never spent the night. It was a new experience for him. The next day, John and Barb brought him to the hospital to see us and to meet his new brother. He was so excited and absolutely loves being a big brother.
We were able to come home on Feb. 20 and that evening our first cow calved.
On Feb. 23 my mom and dad drove up from Salmon, Idaho to meet their new grandson and to play with Joseph. They had so much fun with Joseph and James. By that time the temperature was above freezing during the day and so they went on adventures out in the snow, played toys, did some baking, and had a good splash doing dishes. They had to go home Mar. 2, but hope to be back sometime soon.
By Mar. 5 we’d had six calves and were starting to get two or more a day. Temperatures in early March dropped again and it started snowing. Gregory has been pretty much on his own this year doing night checks. I take the odd one when both of the boys are sleeping to try to give Gregory a chance to rest. We’ve both been run a little ragged with the new baby, calving, feeding the cows and horses, fixing equipment for spring work, and getting things ready to clean seed for this year’s crop, but we sure wouldn’t trade it for anything.
On Mar. 8 we celebrated Barb’s 69th birthday. She had two little Eppich grandsons to help her blow her candles out this year. A few days later we loaded two weanling horses and sent them to their new owner in Ontario. After the cows are done calving, the mares will start foaling. What a beautiful season: babies, babies, and more babies!