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

Stettler and area youth jump into curling this winter

Junior Curling Program runs Monday nights in Stettler

Stettler secondhand charity looks for new home

Superfluity lease not being renewed; will move by Sept., 2018

First auction of 2018 has solid numbers: auction market

Stettler Auction Mart sees 700 head move through Jan. 9

Lars Callieou to entertain in Halkirk on Feb. 10

Volunteer appreciation supper held on Friday night

Outrage against hunting ‘pretty animals’

But its ok if they are ‘stupid and ugly’

Stettler and area youth jump into curling this winter

Junior Curling Program runs Monday nights in Stettler

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Provincial park no more

The province transferred Sylvan Lake Provincial Park to the Town yesterday

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.