Calf Warmer

Still hung around close to the house today… working on some wool projects and cleaning… After lunch, though, I said I’d feed my bees and head down to where the guys were installing the calf warmer.

After some research, I decided NOT to give the bees any corn syrup, as liquids need to be dried off and, humidity, in the form of condensation, is a literal killer of bees. Plain sugar would do… so I gave them a smidge on top of a hive in a flat container. Not much, I don’t want to pull in mice, but thought I’d leave a little and see what they’d do with it.

Today was 47˚ and cloudy, and I saw two bees.

I mudded back to the house, and headed to the calving shed. I drove up… and Good Timing… the guys were finished with the install.

calving shed

See the big yellow plastic box?  That’s it.  We used to have two refrigerators in here to hold things.  One is gone, the other moved to the other corner out of sight.

So imagine this.  It’s -10˚, breezy, and some ol’ cow just had her calf in the middle of a mud puddle.  Our usual operating procedure is to lift the calf onto whatever vehicle is handy, and take it to the house, and using towels and rubbing and blow dryer, we try to warm it up.  Now, we’ll pull the top off the calf warmer.  It serves as a sled, so the calf can be drug behind a four wheeler to the calving shed and put in this contraption.

That’s the part I have problems with!  I doubt I could lift a 90 pound calf that high… but since I don’t mess with the calving so much anymore, it probably wouldn’t happen to me.  I may want a block and tackle on hand!

Shut the lid.  There’s a heater and blower on the end.

calf warmerThat’s the red box.  You can pull it out and aim it towards the pens if you want heat that way too… Anyway, you can just use the fan, or use the adjustable heat.

calf warmerThe air circulates in the bottom four inches and the calf lays on the grate.  Once it’s warm and dry, I’d get one of the boys to pull it out!  Or get out that block and tackle again.

Please notice how clean this is… it will never look the same.  You can hose this out, thank goodness!  Hopefully, this thing will work, but I’d prefer we not use the thing in the first place!  Hear that, cows???  No having calves in mud puddles or creeks or below zero temps!

Yeah.  Right.


Comments

Calf Warmer — 4 Comments

  1. We’ve seen a couple calves on the ground out here by our place and as a City Girl I always have questions for The Cowboy. AS I am about to drop my own calf here any hour/day I was feeling pretty happy for the warm weather we’ve had lately. I can’t imagine what it’s like on those -10 below years. This was cool to see, and to know that it exists as a tool to help those little ones. Though The Cowboy assured me the little buggers are tough and as long as they don’t get wet they will be fine!
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  2. WOW, that is a high LIFT of a 90 lb calf! Dad’s red brangus ran about 40 to 50 lbs when born, but still I would have had issues raising them that high. And when it is all warmed up, it will be more mobile so exaction will be exciting!

  3. Looks like a pretty clever and useful invention. I wonder what a baby calf will think…and if it will accept being placed in it without being too scared?? (all I know about cows is what you’ve taught me!!!)

  4. Modern tech. I’m with you. Being that it was usually just the ranchers wife and myself wrestling with the calf. I’m thinking a door would be helpful. Think you will miss the smell and mess in your house. tee hee

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