Every day may not be good...but there is something good in every day.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

10 Lessons Learned from Calving

The final countdown is upon us – 40 heifers and the rest of April stand between us and the sweet freedom of a night of restful sleep.

Here are some life lessons I have learned from this first season of calving as a couple.

1) The ones you work the hardest to save are the ones you lose. Truth. Anyone who has worked with livestock will attest to that.

2) Being surrounded by life and baby animals – don’t be surprised if the subject of little ones comes up. If it does – do not be offended if your spouse relates everything back to cattle terminology and crack jokes about first time heifers and mothering up.  

3) Pick your battles. Calving is stressful. The nights are long and the spouses get grumpy. They are not mad at you – just frustrated.

4) The laundry will pile up and your house will smell like a barn. In times like these I find solace in scented candles and scrubbing bubbles  

5) You will get a call from the barn from your spouse in a huff demanding you to come out RIGHT NOW to help him. I learned the hard way not to wear gym shorts in January. Lesson – dress as if you may have to go outside in a pinch no matter the weather. 

6) Coveralls don’t make bad Christmas gifts and it’s hard to beat a solid pair of boots.

7) Alone time can prevent many a fight.

8) Mud and mean cows will always be your enemy.

 9) Working together and praying together will make your relationship stronger.

 10) Don’t forget to make time for each other. Have a special supper, rent a movie, and make breakfast together.

Happy Trails and Happy Calving!




  1. SO very true on so many different levels! Great job and here's to a fast April!

  2. Wise observations, Ms. Elizabeth! I am glad you two are able to get through it rationally and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Then comes BRANDING season and summer!!!


  3. Oh so true. You have to take the good with the bad, and pray for all good. Our heifer calving ended March 6. Now we are setting up to start branding! Saturday will be the heifers. I am thankful that me husband and I work very well together. And no PJ's at the calving barn! :) If you dress for a long night, it usually isn't. Happy calving!

  4. This is not our first calving season together, but I like your list Elizabeth. 2005 a few months after we were married I was home full time during calving and this is my 2nd home full time during calving season. I have always helped on weekends and when I can. But, being home full time is different than just helping.

    #3 He is not mad at me, just frustrated with cows, calves and bad weather. Repeat!

    #4 I have been trying to keep the entry picked up. I am a neat freak and can't wait until this snow storm is over so I can wash rugs and mop.

    #5 and 6. I don't know what all I need for clothes. J ordered rain gear on Monday. We have not used rain gear for years. I wear so many layers it literally takes at least 5 minutes or more for my slow self to get dressed. But, I don't complain about being to cold very often.

    #7 :) A short walk on the treadmill to relives some stress helps too. If you have the energy to do it.

    Good Luck with the rest of your calving season.

  5. Love this! It is all so very true. We're supposed to be calving now too, if ours ever catch on to the plan and decide to go into labor. Not quite sure what they're waiting for... But much of this applies to when I was farrowing out my gilts a couple weeks back too. Especially #1 - especially. It really, really sucks - but hey, that's farm life for you I guess. Good luck with the last 40!

  6. You've had much more experience than we've had, but I can't help but agree with #1. But, you just keep goin'~

  7. Oh wow this is so true I have been a cow calf beef farmer with my husband who also works full time for 35 years. It is a hard wonderful physically exhausting exhilarating life and even though I am slowing down there is nothing else that has ever brought more joy to our family. You are right on with these #1 still is the hardest one. Good luck with your new plot of land. B