Cowboys at Work: Calving

Guess what season this is? Well true, it is winter, but it’s also calving season here in Colorado. The bulk of the cow population have been delivering their calves since January, usually picking the coldest, nastiest nights to bring their young into the world. According to Beef Magazine, calves born during February and March are heavier at weaning their their counterparts born April and May. I’ll discuss the pros and cons of the two birthing seasons in the near future.

Cowboys are a hearty lot. During this early calving season, sleep is a luxury and needs to be snatched when ever time permits. These angels of mercy of the bovine set, watch for signs of birth during the day as they continue with the daily chores. At night fall, they keep their eye on cows with sloppy hind ends and bags dripping with milk. Even if there isn’t a promising candidate during the day, someone needs to take the night shift in case of surprises. The watchfulness of the cowboy obviously includes the safety of the cow and calf during birth, but mostly, since the herd is in a pasture, they need to protect the little one from predators such as coyotes and wild dogs.

These heros we write about sacrifice much to keep their charges safe. At times, their humor escapes them, one might say they become down right surly, but the true cowboy always has his mind on his work.

Good thing for the cows, knowing their heros are on duty; good thing for me, I have a wealth of glory to write about.

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