Tag Archives: Cattle

Watching the Cows

3 Apr

Our dinner table sits in front of a large window that looks upon the field behind the house. This allows us to watch the cattle graze, and it also allows us to talk about the cattle. Tonight, we watched a mama cow look after her newborn calf.

If you do not think mama cow is a real term, then you should listen to cow people talk.

The calf was lying on the ground, and my wife and stepdaughter were getting worried. The calf had not moved in a while. Honestly, I was worried, too. Earlier, I drove out there to make sure it was alright.

After a few minutes, the calf got up and followed its mother to another part of the field.

A few weeks ago, another calf was born near the house. When I got home, buzzards were smelling blood and trying to get near it. I went out to run them off, and I was not alone. As the mother pushed the calf away, the other cows formed a line and attacked the buzzards. They stomped, and they kicked. Eventually, the buzzards went away.

That calf was born during good weather. However, it stormed that night, and everyone in the house was worried about it. The next day it snowed. That calf experienced some true Tennessee spring weather within a matter of hours. Now, the calf is an old pro.

These days, there is a lot of cow activity around the house. Later this month, the barn behind the house will host the annual production sale. I have written about it before. In the old days, the cattle were owned by my dad, but he got out of the business. Now, his former partner grazes his cattle on the land and has his own sale.

People will come from most of the states to purchase the animals. However, these animals are not destined for the dinner plate. They are too valuable for that. These cattle will be used to improve the bloodlines of herds around the country.

It is a busy time of year around these parts. People are preparing for the sale, and the calves are playing while the mama cows keep close watch.

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Scenes From a Cattle Sale

29 Apr

My dad grew up on a dairy farm, and he has always liked having cattle around. In fact, they have been around for as long as I can remember. For years, he has owned Angus, a breed that can be traced back to Scotland. The are black cattle that have become the staple of the beef industry.

For many of those years, my dad had several head but was not that serious about it. Then, he and a partner started the Horn Springs Angus Farm. With hard work and a lot of investment, this became not only one of the top herds in Tennessee but also one of the top herds in the nation. HSAF cattle have won some of the biggest shows and have been praised for the quality of their offspring.

You see, the animals are not for slaughter. They are show cattle that are used to enhance the breed. In 2000, my dad and his partner decided to hold an annual production sale. Although my dad is not as involved as he used to be, he still hosts the sale on his land, and cow people come from all over to buy. This year, there were folks from as far away as Montana and Canada.

This past Sunday marked another day of auctioning cattle, and I thought it would be interesting to chronicle the scene on this blog. I took photos with my iPhone, which my wife and stepdaughter claim I am not very good at doing. I do not know if the pictures are of good quality, but you may find them interesting.

When people arrive, the first thing they want to do is check out the cattle that are going up for auction.

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Of course, there is more than one way to look at a cow.

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These guys look serious about it.

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You may have noticed some people sitting at tables. The sale is almost as famous for its lunch as it is for the cattle. This year, they had barbecue (beef, of course), barbecued bologna (baloney in these parts), brisket, baked beans, cole slaw, and some of the best pecan pie you will ever eat. The only thing missing was vanilla ice cream to put on the pie.image-6

People get in line as fast as possible to get to the vittles. In this picture, my wife and stepdaughter are making their way through.image-8

Once the plate is piled, it is time to eat.

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Of course, the whole point is to buy and sell cattle, and that takes place in this ring.

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The barn sits empty while people browse and eat, but, when it is auction time, people get ready for business.

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Introductions are made. Cattle are brought in. The auctioneer starts talking. The ring men start taking bids. The beginning of the auction is actually pretty exciting.

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However, important work is also going on behind the scenes as people are getting the cattle lined up to go in the ring. There cannot be a delay in the action.

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Here is another view of the ring as cattle are being sold.

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Eventually, the cattle are loaded onto trailers and taken to places throughout the United States and Canada.

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Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed a few scenes from a cattle sale.

 

I Could Write

12 Feb

I have a couple of posts rattling around in my mind, but I am not ready to write them. The right words have not appeared to me. Actually, they have appeared, but they have appeared at the wrong time. My best and most creative thoughts always come when I am in bed with my eyes closed. They bounce around and lead me into all kinds of directions. I should write them down, but I always remind myself to remember them when I wake up.

The words of the posts have come to me, but I am still not ready to write them. Instead, I have been looking around for something to inspire a post, and it is not happening.

I could write about the Snow Dome that is covering my area. This winter has been bitterly cold and parts of the South have had major snow and ice storms. We have not had anything. Every place around us has been hit, and we have stayed dry. The temperature and the precipitation have always come at different times. Not that I am complaining. A winter without snow is a wonderful thing. It is just weird.

I could write about how it is colder in the building I work in than it is outside. I know it is a big building, but there should be a little bit of heat. People walk around with coats on and hoodies pulled over their heads.

I could write about the FBI being in town. The entire story has not been released, but, a few days ago, a man opened up a package that exploded and killed him. It also put his wife in critical condition. When I heard about it, the Unabomber immediately jumped into my mind. He sent a package to Nashville that killed someone.

I could write about the porn movie that is was filmed in my neighborhood last year. However, I do not have the complete story – only bits and pieces from various sources who did not take part in the filming. I thought porn movies were filmed in mansions. It turns out they are filmed in regular houses, too.

I could write about cows. That is what I have been teaching about in class. Students have been hearing everything there is to know about cattle drives, cowboys, cattle towns and cattlemen. Before it is over, they will be eating more chicken.Eat More Chicken

I could write about Daisy Dog. She moved in when we got married and is a great pet. She always wants to hang around me because I am her favorite human. She licks a lot, but we all have our faults. Despite that, I am sure that I would be kicked out of the house before she would.Cancun 214

I could write about a lot of things, but my mind is filled with words for other posts. At some point, I have to get those words together and on this screen.

King of the Pecos

11 Feb

Did you know the King of the Pecos was from Tennessee? Born in Hardeman County in 1824, John Chisum’s family moved to Texas when he was a teenager. As Chisum grew older, he became a leader in the booming cattle industry of the area and provided beef for reservations in New Mexico. As a result, Chisum moved his operation to a 100 mile range on the Pecos River.

With his 60,000 head of cattle, Chisum became known as the King of the Pecos. As his wealth grew, other cattlemen challenged Chisum’s power, and the famous Lincoln County War ensued, an event that made Billy the Kid famous. Chisum died in 1884, but he has been immortalized on film by such stars as James Coburn and John Wayne. While the portrayals have not been accurate, they have made for some entertaining movies and memorable quotes. Consider the following from Wayne’s Chisum.

James Pepper: You know there’s an old saying. There’s no law west of Dodge and no God west of the Pecos. Right, Mr. Chisum?

John Chisum: Wrong, Mr. Pepper. Because no matter where people go, sooner or later there’s the law. And, sooner or later they find God’s already been there.