A cow herd far outnumbers the people caring for them when you consider that the adult-to-children ratio required for daycare centers is only 1:12.
At calving time, the workload doubles—and that’s on a good day with ideal weather conditions and the day’s activities going smoothly. Accomplishing what needs done and ensuring the best care for our livestock can get stressful and overwhelming during calving season. On most ranches, a minimum of a husband and wife take care of a cow herd, and at most, more than one family is involved with the responsibilities that go along with calving. When dealing with animals, a lot can be achieved with more people, but sometimes that isn’t enough.
Staying on top of everything can be a daunting task especially if the weather has no mercy on the fragile lives of fresh calves. Whether my husband has to haul a load of cull cows to the sale barn or make a quick trip to the big city for parts, vaccines, or livestock supplies, I’m not ashamed to admit that I pray for the good Lord’s help to take care of calving and livestock duties alone. When calving activity gets hectic and I need things to go smoothly in dealing with complications by myself, I always pray first. Prayer is my insurance policy against any problems becoming disastrous or more than I can deal with alone.
I have no doubt that divine intervention was at work this calving season. Once calving started, prayers were said asking the Lord to help us do the best we could. More than once we found a cow had unexpectedly calved outside on a super cold night or morning, and seeing those calves alive and well seemed impossible.
The day we wanted to get certain heifers (heifers are always a challenge) in, most of them were conveniently together and right by the barn gate and most of the rest did the same later on. Another day, my husband went to a ranch auction that had equipment for sale that he was interested in, and six cows decided to get busy and calve. Once it was obvious that things could potentially get overwhelming for me, I said a mental prayer asking the Lord for His help to have the ability to handle whatever problems I might encounter. Those cows kept me running around most of the day checking, but each calving went well. Praying has always been the most logical thing for me to do if problems appear to be too big for me to handle.
Our favorite divine intervention story happened a few years ago when my husband was finally able to get a breachy cow that was calving, headed toward the barn cooperatively, but he noticed that the gate didn’t stay open for her to go through. Under his breath he candidly said right then that he could really use some of the Lord’s help. A breeze picked up and he watched the gate swing wide open and the cow went right in. We’ve contributed all good fortune moments like these to divine intervention.
Letting someone else take over is not something livestock owners like to do, especially to someone they can’t see, but enlisting the aid of a Higher Power can result in the kind of help beyond one’s imagination.