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Published March 25, 2013, 08:41 PM

Winter weather is affecting the way local ranchers calve

Kindred, ND (WDAY TV) -- The weather is playing a role in many people's livelihoods this winter, including ranchers.

Kindred, ND (WDAY TV) -- The weather is playing a role in many people's livelihoods this winter, including ranchers.

Blowing snow and cold temperatures are making it hard to keep calves alive. With Spring, comes new life on the farm.

Jeremy Helbling/rancher: We've had between 80 and 90 calves in the last 21 days so we've been very busy.

Calving can be a demanding job - requiring around the clock attention.

Jeremy: "We're up every hour or at least every two hours checking on cows, making sure nothing is in labor and if they are in labor get them in the barn as fast as we can."

These calves are ranchers bread and butter to guarantee they make it through the cold and windy winters they're born in a warm barn.

Jeremy: "Better survivability rate for the calves that way."

Optimal temps for calving are in the mid-40's. So this years whipping winds and chilly temps are far from ideal.

Jeremy: "The inside of the cow when the calf comes out is 101 degrees. If the calf is outside in the wind and it's twelve below you do the math on that one, it's a pretty big shock."

While safety is key - it's fair to say it all boils down to the bottom dollar.

Jeremy: "Every time we lose a calf that's 1-thousand dollars down the drain."

Helbling won't see a return on these calves until next February when they go to market.

Helbling and his wife hope to be done calving by the end of April.

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