Thursday, May 06, 2010

And So On, And So On....


Still snowing, and even colder this morning. This bunch of cows got pushed south by yesterday's wind and snow. Dad and Greg spent the whole afternoon getting them back to the south shelter. This morning, I saddled up Nico and pushed them on to the house, while Greg led the way and broke a trail with the tractor, packing a big round bale of hay for incentive.

Then it was on to doctoring calves that are starting to get sick from all the cold and stress. Mostly in the form of what we call 'scours', which is the bovine version of diarrhea. Since it's bacterial, we can treat it with antibiotics. But if they get too dehydrated, we also have to 'tube' them with an electrolyte solution, the calf version of a Pedialyte popsicle. Or cherry Gatorade. Since calves won't voluntarily swallow the stuff, we have to get it into them via a long plastic tube with a large catheter-type thing on the end that is slid down their throat and directly into their stomach.


This one will stay in the barn warm and dry for the rest of the day, get another electrolyte treatment tonight, then we'll decide whether to take him back out to his mother, or bring her in to him. In the meantime, I'm wondering if we can sue Al Gore for deceptive practices or something, because if this is global warming, I don't want to see what happens when we cool off.

9 comments:

Jamie D. said...

Ack - good luck with your calves. Winter does have to end sometime, with any luck, soon.

It's snowing down here too...not nearly as much as you have though. Condolences...

Melissa said...

Not sure if this helps or will just cause a fight. :-)

Global warming was a bad name, though it is "warming" that's causing climate change. The ocean temps have gone up a few degrees. Doesn't sound like much, but there's a domino effect.

The increased temps melt the Arctic sea ice, and raisethe sea levels. This also allows more of the warm water from the Gulf Stream to flow around Iceland through the shallow Greenland Sea, further warming the Arctic Ocean and increasing the melting of its ice.

With the ice gone, the Arctic water can evaporate into the atmosphere, where the polar jet stream then brings it down all over as snow--vast quantities of snow.

Juliet DeMasi said...

I'm with Melissa on this. "Climate Change" sounds to be the more accurate description of what's going on. Although it probably doesn't matter to you what the scientists call it when you're out in the snow trying to save calves! Good luck!

Annica said...

It´s not easy for you to work in that bad weather. Hope soon it turns to the better. Cold and blowing weather here in Sweden also and I have only 2 horses and a couple of dogs Good luck with your calves and cows <3

Stan Grace said...

Ranchers or loggers in Montana experience climate change on almost a daily basis. Al Gore is a tenderfoot in order of climate experience.

Take care of yourself Kari. Ranch wives with a job in town are a precious commodity.

ArkansasCyndi said...

Is this atypical weather for you? Do you usually get snow this late in the year?

Could the calves come later in the year?

Kari Lynn Dell said...

Melissa: Leave it to us to figure out a way to get more snow out of global warming.

Cyndi: We already calve a month later than a lot of people around us, and two months later than most of the country. If we hold off any longer, the calves will be too small to sell in the fall.

As far as typical weather...it depends. Seems to go in phases. We'll get a few nasty winters in a row, then a few where there's hardly any snow. Very few springs pass without at least one big blizzard. But without the snow, there's no grass and no water in the springs or reservoirs. Sigh. It's always something.

Gayle Carline said...

While you get snow, we get 90-degree weather with Santa Ana winds (30-60 mph) in southern California. Last weekend, I was in Burbank at a horse show and watched the wind pick up an EZ-Up and toss it onto a barn roof, where it rolled back and forth before coming down on the opposite side. The horses weren't too thrilled about that.
Gayle Carline
http://thatsmysnoopy.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Hi Its obviously been a bad one, take care all of you, its not just the cattle that suffer, to help them through it all you take risks and work extremely hard, i hope those who like their steaks in NYC at vast cost apreciate all that goes into producing them! stay safe and my thoughts are with you.

love sadie