A couple weeks ago now, I was able to escape calving for a few days and take a mini-vacation to the Okanogan. A friend of mine from Bella Coola goes to UBC Okanogan in Kelowna; she is also studying to become a vet. So, I went along for the ride to pick and pack her up after exams. It was a lot of driving and I saw Kamloops, Vernon, Kelowna, Merrit, Quesnel and everything in-between. We live in such a beautiful province! In Kelowna it was lovely to look out the window and instead of white snow, see lush green grass, flowers blooming and heat rising off the pavement. As much as I loved seeing my friend and having a break from everything, it was so good to see the cows again!
Gloriously, in this past week the snow has completely disappeared in Anahim, hallelujah! And the blustery days we’ve been getting have worked wonders in the corrals, drying up the mud, making it way easier to get around.
Two new additions have been made to the cowherd. A Holstein and Jersey, both milk cows and both so wonderful! I named the Holstein, Black Velvet and Ben named the Jersey, Jessica. They each have so much personality, are gentle and petable. I have been doing a lot of milking as you might have guessed, but their milk is delicious and rich, so it is worth it. I've hand turned butter and made some ice cream, yummm! I have decided that one day I am going to get a Jersey milk cow and keep her for a pet :) Milking is excellent exercise for one’s hands.
There are now less than 40 cows to calve, its so amazing! And all the heifers (first calvers) are done calving now. We had a long streak where we didn’t have to pull any calves, which was a nice change. Nevertheless, one cow came along with a calf that had one leg back. Since the head and one leg were already out, we had to push the calf back inside. Easier said than done. The tail block was not working on this cow for some reason. I’m here to tell you, that trying to push against a cow is really hard. But we managed to get him back inside, straighten out the legs and pull the calf out easily enough. Another exciting thing I learned is how to tube a calf. So, if a calf is sick and dehydrated, you have to stick a tube down its throat and into the stomach to feed it electrolytes. At first, I was so scared of getting the tube down the wrong hole and drowning it. But, thankfully I didn’t and am much more confident in tubing calves now. It’s a handy skill to know.
Most people know that last summer I raised an orphaned calf. She was my bottle baby for a few months. She was small for her age because she was a twin and didn’t get as much milk as she could have eaten. She was sold to a local guy here in town a few months ago. He told me I could come and see her anytime. I went down there last week and couldn’t believe my eyes! My little cute baby has grown into a fair size teenager cow. She is doing well there though and is as nice as ever. It is amazing how fast things grow.
Branding is coming up in two weeks, the biggest event of the year (apart from rodeo). They are expecting around 50 people to show up and we have to feed them, ahhh! I’m up to my eyeballs at the moment in baking for desserts. We’re starting on the cooking soon. I hope I’m not doing the cooking too, I might give everyone food poisoning or something. Sadly, I have not inherited my mother’s cooking skills.
An extra exciting birth occurred here a few days ago. A mare named Jelly Bean had her baby finally! It is sooo adorable, with its long gangly legs. Three more foals are expected this spring; I just hope they have them all before I leave.