Weather creating difficult calving season conditions
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) – It's calving season and, so far, it has been challenging for cattle ranchers.
Newborn calves struggle in the cold temperatures and the snow. In an ideal calving season, the grounds would be dry and winds would be minimal. But this year, that doesn't seem the be the conditions we can expect. This is forcing cattle ranchers to take extra precautions to keep their new stock safe.
Mike Smith, a local cattle rancher, said, "We have to be prepared with straw to keep the calves dry and check them when the weather's colder. We have to check every 2 hours."
These weather conditions can be dangerous and even life threatening to the calves.
Another local cattle rancher, Jay Schweider, said, "You can deal with hypothermia very quickly with with with a newborn calf. And so... it's best if they can be in a dry environment and in and out of the wind."
"Calves won't last long if they're born and happen to get on the ice or snow. They'll only last an hour and a half if they... aren't able to get up and suck," Smith said.
Farmers are having to spend more money on feed and straw to help the new stock become strong and healthy.
The weather has also delayed operations.
"There's been times we've been able to get our cows out to pasture. You know, in mid-April to end of April... I hope we can do that in May sometime, and it probably be mid-May," Schweider said.
These delays could affect the farm's profitability in the future.
But at the same time, despite the challenges, the ranchers are grateful to see the moisture in the area.
"We also don't ever want to cuss moisture and rain in this valley because we're very blessed with sufficient water to raise crops and take care of us in all aspects of the farming industry and ranching," Smith said.