New calf born this past week at the Shuckburgh Farms

Good weather brings a positive start to calving season

Veterinarians, however, have noticed more breach births this year, possibly due to an icy winter.

Spring this year has brought good weather, and farmers and ranchers are enjoying a strong start to the calving season because of it.

“Right now this weather is fabulous,” said Laura Brown of LLB Angus, a purebred Angus breeder in Erskine.

Brown and other cattle producers are hoping that this weather continues into April and May.

“If we get a snowstorm or some really bad weather, that makes everything a lot more difficult,” Brown added.

For now, however, she is maintaining a positive attitude.

“We just have to take what we get,” Brown said.

Local veterinarians are seeing a busy start to calving season, and are preparing for plenty more calvings to come through April and May.

“During calving season it’s all hands on deck,” said Dr. Barb Munholland of Stettler Veterinary Clinic. “It’s a busy time and calvings always take priority. They’re emergencies just like babies in the hospitals are emergencies.”

The veterinary clinic currently has six veterinarians on staff, with two people on call 24 hours a day during calving season.

“The producers when they’re calving are on call all of the time until they’re done, whereas we’re on call but the next night we get to sleep. So I think sometimes the producers have a harder life than we do for these few months,” Munholland commented.

One emerging trend this year has been the number of breach births, according to Munholland.

This has made some of the calvings more complicated for veterinarians, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary as far as Munholland is concerned.

“Breaches are a little more difficult than the average calving but they’re doable,” she said. “The problem comes sometimes when the cow doesn’t show very well when they’re calving, and sometimes by the time we see them the calf is dead. And our goal is always to have a live calf.”

While Munholland doesn’t have an explanation for why she is seeing more breach births this year from a scientific point of view, she noted that one producer passed on a piece of wisdom from his grandfather that breach births tend to be more common on icy years, and this winter has been a particularly icy one.

This is an area where veterinarians can learn from farmers, Munholland said.

“We respect that the producers have seen a lot and know a lot,” she added.

For cattle producers like Brown, there’s always something to be learned, even in a seemingly normal year.

“Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, there’s something different,” she said.

Despite the potential challenges, however, Brown sees calving season as one of the best times of the year.

“There’s nothing nicer than seeing the babies running around with their tails in the air,” she said.

Just Posted

Watch: Gravel truck turns into wrong off-ramp at Highway 2 Ponoka

The new Highway 2 and Highway 53 intersection at Ponoka caused some confusion for one driver

Stettler armed robber convicted in court Oct. 12

Jayson Marshall gets over two years in jail

CORRECTED Donalda Creamery plans on tap Oct. 23

Architects to answer public’s questions about plans

WATCH: ASIRT investigating officer-involved shooting during crime spree

Shots fired on two occasions during incidents, one suspect remains in hospital with serious injuries

Drumheller RCMP investigate human remains

Police find human remains in burning vehicle near Morrin

VIDEO: Tragically Hip singer-songwriter Gord Downie dies at 53

Downie had been fighting brain cancer for over a year

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

4 B.C. prisons install body scanners to combat drug smuggling

The scanners are aimed to combat the smuggling of contraband including weapons and drugs

Outspoken Mountie assigned to admin duties for refusing to shave goatee

The 15-year veteran of the force said he believes the RCMP is targeting him

Victim in fatal ammonia leak remembered for his passion and smile

Friends and colleagues remember Lloyd Smith as someone who was always willing to help people

Canadian planet hunter seeking alien life

‘The shifting line of what is crazy’ says Toronto-born astrophysicist

Firefighter dies battling wildfire in Alberta

“It’s terrible. It will devastate the community for a while here. He’ll surely be missed.”

Most Read

Weekly delivery plus unlimited digital access for $50.40 for 52 issues (must live within 95 kilometers of Stettler) Unlimited Digital Access for one year for $50.40 Prefer to have us call you? Click here and we’ll get back to you within one business day.