KIOWA, Colo. (CBS4) – Cattle ranchers moved their animals Wednesday in advance of a spring blizzard to try and protect them from the harsh conditions in the second bomb cyclone to hit Colorado this year.
“It was a tough storm you know, we lost newborns but it wasn’t too bad,” said Charlie Carnahan. “This could be worse because we’ve got more calves.”
Carnahan has around 400 cows. His family has run their ranch for generations going back to the 1860s. He says they cannot place all of their cows in shelter during a storm but they try to get as many into a safe spot before a blizzard arrives. He says since the last storm, he has 125 newborn calves to take care of on the ranch. He even received six additions the morning before the storm was expected to travel across Colorado.
“Do what you can but you can only do so much,” he said. “Just feeding and getting any brand new pairs in the barn if we can.”
Feeding cows hay just before strong winds hit the ranch can help the animals get the extra weight they need to survive the change in conditions. He tries to prioritize those animals that most need shelter, he has one calf that is already sick so he moved him and his mother into the barn well before the blizzard.
Even the fog can create additional challenges before the snow and wind start.
“I had a bull out on the road this morning, cars were coming and they couldn’t see him very far ahead of time,” he said. “These storms are really rough this time of year.”
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Before the winds even picked up, Carnahan said he knew there was a chance he would lose more newborns in this storm.
“It’s just part of it,” he said. “It can’t be helped, you just do the best you can.”