HIGHWOOD, Mont. - January is one of the coldest months of the year and it's also the time of year that calves start popping up on Montana's family farms and ranches across the Treasure State.
273 days, that's roughly how many days a cow will carry a calf before giving birth but the process doesn't stop there.
"Then you start to raise that baby for six months until you can sell the baby. So like most of what we continue hours on and sell registered Angus Bulls. So we keep them babies for over a year. So it's basically a two year process to have that baby and make it a consumable, consumable product or a sellable product."
Ty Malek has been ranching for 30 years
"The bad weather is... it's tough. I mean, freezing the ears and the cows and stuff and you're trying to keep them warm and keep them alive,” Malek said.
He says one of the keys to getting ready for a successful calving season is being prepared for the cold weather.
"They won't survive in that weather.”
For Malek, this year has been a good year.
He now gets to sleep throughout the entire night after about 45 to 50 days of night checks to make sure the calves are okay.
"We've had a fantastic year. We've had very, very low death loss,” Malek said. “We've had, I think, eight sets of twins to this point. So we've got cows we're feeding every day with bottles, which gets to be a hassle because it takes it twice a day or four every day. We got cows raising twins. So we've had a super success rate, but it's been a lot of work."
During this time, the days are long and Malek sometimes feels drained from the lack of sleep but there is one thing he'll never get tired of.
"I mean, they never get tired of seeing a baby be born when they hit the ground alive. Take that first breath. It just enlightens you. It's refreshing. It just is. You never get tired of that sight. I don't care who you are, how many times you've seen it, it never gets old and you get excited."
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