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'It’s definitely tough': Sask. producers gear up for calving season

As calving season ramps up, the Government of Saskatchewan reminds producers to keep safety top of mind, declaring March 12-18 Agriculture Safety Week.

“Be aware when a family member or hired person goes out to check the cows,” Daryl Harrison with the Ministry of Agriculture told CTV News.

“Cattle can be unpredictable sometimes, especially at calving time."

Safety is always a priority on the Stochmanski farm.

"Get rested up the best you can so mistakes aren't made, help each other watch out, and don’t take any risks," Brennan Stochmanski, cattle producer said.

During calving season, the Stochmanski siblings set an alarm every three hours, and get up on those cold winter nights to care for the calves.

"It’s definitely tough getting up at night, but it’s well worth it saving calves,” Brennan's brother Alexis Stochmanski said.

They make sure the newborns are staying warm, and watch for any complications.

"You could have backwards calves, or calves that are hard at birth, or shoulder back, so you got to bring them in right away and assist that,” Alexis said.

Already they’ve assisted one mother with a calf puller, a tool producers strap to the limbs of a calf to aid in delivery.

The Stochmanskis have learned the tricks of the trade from their father. They make sure new calves suck within the first few hours of birth, which ensures the newborns have the protein and nutrients to build up strength. They also keep a close eye on the bred heifers, young mothers who will give birth for the first time.

There are currently 15 new calves on the Stochmanski farm, and more than 300 expecting mothers. It’s a busy lifestyle, but the Stochmanskis say it’s rewarding.

Brennan says his favourite part on the farm is "Seeing the calves alive and then watching them slowly grow up into what you produce them into, and get them into the store so other people can enjoy them." Top Stories

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