(Rural Roots Canada) – What is your plan to get you through calving?

Ken Miller, with the Olds College Smart Farm, says it doesn’t matter whether this is the first time you are calving or your 20th, having a plan makes a difference.

“One of those strategies is writing out that plan, engaging with your veterinarian, engaging with your farm team, whether that is your spouse, any children, or other people involved in the business and the power of using checklists,” Miller said.

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He says if you are not a checklist person you should engage with your local veterinarian as they probably have a great off-the-shelf list of calving supplies.

He says this year they are faced with an interesting challenge.

“The needing for planning is probably underscored more this year with the news peppered with supply chain shortages.”

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Miller says whether you are looking for ear tags, vaccinations, needles, just basic items that you would expect to get from your basic farm supply store.

“Those shelves could be empty or back-ordered, again just underscoring the necessary time that it takes to plan will probably take some of the stress off going forward.”

Miller says one thing farmers almost always overlook at this time is managing their fatigue.

“The reality is calving is an activity that goes 24-hours a day, sometimes it goes 40, 60, 70 days long and this is on top of your base work, so just having a plan and managing for that, there’s significant work required again in that, so involve others.”

He says that could include your spouse, neighbour, or people in the community that are looking for some part-time work that can help you with your other operation.”


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