MITCHELL, S.D. & PARKSTON, S.D. (KELO)– January means that calves are starting to arrive at farms across KELOLAND.
No matter the weather, cows are starting to have their calves. And with the cold temperatures, farmers are making sure to give the cows and newborn calves extra care to keep them warm, dry and healthy.
Calving is just beginning at Jared Werning’s operation in Parkston. And when the weather drastically changes, calving picks up quickly.
“Cattle seem to calve when there’s shifts in weather patterns. So when there’s a front coming in, it causes a change in the cattle and they seem to calve at that time,” said Werning.
And with the cold front moving through, he’s preparing for a lot of calves.
“This week, with the change of weather we are expecting to be on our toes and we will probably have more than expected,” said Werning.
When the outside conditions are cold like this, the most important thing to do is to make sure the cows are calving inside, where there’s lot of shelter and warm bedding.
“With the cold, we just want to bed the cattle more, keep our engines running, get our fuel additive make sure all the cows have plenty of bedding, just try to keep everything as comfortable as possible,” said Werning.
Weston Geppert is already well into the calving season on his farm and says it’s important to make sure you’re keep the older calves protected from the elements as well.
“You know, the calves that are outside that are outside of the barn, a month old, dang sure make them a place to lay that bedded, out of the wind, somewhere where they can get warmed up,” said Geppert.
Doing everything they can to keep their cattle from getting frost bite this cold winter.
“We’ve got quite a few due here in the next week or so, a couple of them that are overdue, going to keep a really close eye on them and do the best we can to have everything prepared and hope for the best,” said Geppert.
“Doing a few more night checks and being more diligent about getting here just to make sure nothing calves outside or anything like that just covering your basis as far as bedding and sorting and make sure everything you can get inside is inside,” said Werning.
Both producers say that as they enter the end of calving season in March and April, if the weather warms up they could also face issues with calving in muddy conditions.