Winter storm causes calving complications

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DICKINSON, N.D. - UPDATE: Thiel said one cow did valve around 6:30 p.m. Monday night.

Photo courtesy: Terri Thiel


Calving season can be complicated, even in ideal weather. Winter storms can make it a life or death situation.

Dale Christman and Terri Thiel are days away from calving season. Not the best time for a winter storm to hit.

"With this storm, everything is going to be watched really close today. Set up pens this morning and if anything is ready to go, we'll be bringing it in and keeping it nice and warm," said Thiel.

Wind gust of 50 mph and driving snow means ranchers need to keep a close eye on their cattle. Christman says he's feeding his herd two to three times a day to keep them warm through the storm. But each storm has it's own challenges.

"They got a thick hide and a lot of hair from the winter, but still getting wet like that, and a little bit of rain coming it makes it a little bit more difficult. Once you start adding in the wind with that, it makes it pretty critical that you go out and check them a lot," Thiel said.

It's not just ranchers having trouble, the snow turned roadways slick. The city of Dickinson issued a travel advisory because of the unpredictability of the storm.

"We really recommend that people minimize their travel, stay home, be with your families and stay safe," City Administrator Shawn Kessel said.

All residents can do now is sit tight until the storm moves out of town.

Christman said they have about 150 cows to calve this year and they could start any day.