Inclement weather a challenge for ranchers

It’s a cruel, cruel world when you’re (out) on your own.

It’s a cruel, cruel world when you’re (out) on your own.

Aside from the bracketed (out) those are chorus-line words from the song: Cruel, Cruel World by Prozzak (2006). They are somewhat descriptive of the situation of calves born out on Cariboo rangeland this past week as conditions wrought by inclement spring weather were overly harsh and most days of this past week, were poor days to be born.

Any calf who dropped from a cozy-womb onto the frozen, snow-covered ground in the rain, sleet and heavy snowstorm (last Saturday) very likely felt like heading back inside; the same thought crossing the minds of the cowboys and ranchers who braved the same lousy outdoor conditions as they checked the calve’y-cows, the night-born calves, fed the herd and (possibly) assisted in a birth or rescued a freezing cold calf.

The most a calf enduring such a rude arrival can hope for is to have a good mother to lick it clean/dry — one with a good supply of milk (vital colostrums) for that all-important first-suck. Added bonuses would be dry bedding and shelter from the cold wind, but bedding (in the Cariboo) is rare for range-calving (too costly) and mama’s broad body will likely have to suffice for a windbreak.

Some cows may require human help (quirk prevents natural birth) so the cowboy has to shuck his warm clothes (wool sweater, vest, heavy coat), roll up his shirt-sleeve, don an elbow-length plastic glove before reaching inside the cow to sort out the problem. He does all that while hunkered with the labouring cow out on the cold prairie — miles from any washing up facilities (warm building).

Some days, everything that can go wrong, does; making one wonder if a bit of Prozzak might help make it better (Prosac/often prescribed for panic disorder), but, instead we keep calm and carry on.

Just Posted

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

Central Mountain Air confirmed it does not plan to resume service to Williams Lake at this time. (Betsy Kline photo)
Central Mountain Air not resuming route to Williams Lake at this time

Scheduled CMA flights will return to Quesnel at the end of June

Gibraltar Mine has started calling back 34 workers laid off on April 27 because it has received its permit to reactive the Gibraltar East Pit. (Taseko Mines Ltd. photo)
Gibraltar Mine receives permit, calling back laid off employees

Mining has begun in the Gibraltar East pit

(RCMP logo)
RCMP investigating early morning assault in Williams Lake

An insecure firearm was located in a residence

Williams Lake City Council rejected a proposal Tuesday at its regular meeting for the city to host a junior A hockey team for the upcoming 2021/22 season. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Council rejects junior A hockey bid in Williams Lake

The proposal has been up for debate the past several months

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

Brad MacKenzie, advocacy chair for the ALS Society of B.C., says having research projects in the province allows people here to have access to cutting-edge treatments now being developed. (B.C. government video)
B.C. funds research chair for Lou Gehrig’s disease at UBC

Pandemic has cut off patient access to international projects

Most Read