A Cowboy’s Faith: Sun improves cowman’s outlook

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Don’t tell anybody, the sun’s shining.”

The Sunday morning comment brought promise and brightness to the past week of weather gloom.

“Those cows and calves need it bad.”

That’s a fact as well, considering all of the predicaments bovine mommas seem to get into during inclement conditions.

Nice days go by with no or few calves, then when cold, snowy, wind come so do cows’ birthing instincts.

Twin calves mean double the income to outsiders looking in, but in reality that’s more typically twice the problems.

Late afternoon, sharpest shrillest blizzard-like day of the week, proven-producing cow dropped baby twins. They were wet, shivering, nearly freezing.

While with maternal knowledge, the cow was still disoriented considering two instead of one. Mothering impulse did take hold as she started licking one calf so it became more aroused with life bellowing softly.

Nearby twin gets colder, closer to freezing by the minutes. Satisfied the baby being nurtured by momma will be fine, cow foreman loads cold mate into the pickup to assist warm up.

A 30-minute ride soon had that orphan showing spurts of life as well. Brought into the home mudroom the baby with rubbing, hair dryer and heaters perked up even more.

Big plastic nipple bottle with warm first milk replacer suited the little one’s fancy as he sucked it down.

Before bedtime, the little booger was healthy enough to go out to the heavily bedded barn stall.

However, check on cow with the other twin revealed things weren’t going as anticipated. Foreman decided that the only right thing to do was bring him inside too.

Response wasn’t as pronounced as the first orphan, due to remaining outside in the continuing terribly cold wet conditions.

Still, the warmed-up baby took on a few milk gulps with promise of improvement by morning. Despite optimism the orphaned calves would thrive, both deceased within a day.

Top it off; another older, skinnier cow wasn’t taking care of her baby such it was brought inside for care. Efforts are underway so the momma who lost her twins will serve as foster mother.

No end to dilemmas for cowmen, but sun sure helps.

Reminded of Habakkuk 3:4: “His brightness is like the sunlight. He has bright rays flashing from His hand, with the sun’s splendor the hiding place of His power.”


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | [email protected] | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas