Yesterday was the first day of spring break for my wife, Jennifer, and our kids. It was not a very nice day. The day started off wet, drizzly and cold then went down-hill from there. We are still calving and the mud and rain have added to the difficulty. Each morning and night we walk out and check the cows for new calves, a process that usually takes 30 minutes at the most.
So back to yesterday, I had a meeting and this left Jennifer alone to do all the chores and check the calves by herself. She put her coveralls, mud boots and heavy coat on and made her way out to insure the safety of all our cows and calves.
The day before cow number 37 had a big bull calf and we always like to make sure the newest calves are doing OK. As Jennifer made her way through the herd, she noticed that 37 was walking around bawling for her calf. I am sure that searching for a missing calf in the rain was about the last thing my wife wanted to do on her first day of spring break. However, in ranching it is not about what we want when it comes to the care of our cattle.
For the next 30 minutes she searched the pasture, getting wetter and colder with each passing moment. Finally she located the calf about 20 feet on the wrong side of the fence. Moving in carefully and making sure not to scare the calf and have it run in the wrong direction Jennifer caught the calf. Then she eased the calf through the fence and then followed it until it made a happy reunion with its mother.
Jennifer then headed back to the house about an hour and a half later, wet, cold and sure that she had just saved a calf. This is nothing extraordinary in the life of a rancher, it is just something we do. Farmers and ranchers are caretakers of the animals they raise. Our animals safety and care come first no matter what our other plans are. The animals come before vacations, house work, and even personal comfort, its just what we do.
Times like this is when I wonder where the supposed animal rights groups are. They claim to have the best interest of animals at heart, but the truth is something else. They have the best interest of their bank accounts in mind. The real animal caretakers are ranchers like my wife, who spend most of their days taking care of them.