Saturday, January 30, 2010

Spring Calving - Care of Newborns

Spring calving is just around the corner.  The following article addresses getting the newborn calf breathing well.  If your cow or heifer has had a lengthy calving ordeal, the newborn may need help even if it appears to be breathing. 


"Delayed passage through the birth canal in the face of a faltering placenta compromises oxygenation of the calf. Although the calf is able to breathe as soon as its nose passes the lips of the vulva, expansion of the chest is restricted by the narrow birth canal. This situation is seriously aggravated when continuous forced traction is applied. As soon as the calf's head has passed the lips of the vulva, traction should be interrupted, the nostrils cleared of mucus and cold water applied to the head.

Again, when the calf is completely delivered, primary attention is directed toward establishing respiration. Mucus and fetal fluids should be expressed from the nose and mouth by external pressure of the thumbs along the bridge of the nose and the flat fingers underneath the jaws, sliding from the level of the eyes toward the muzzle. The common practice of suspending the calf by it hindlegs to "clear the lungs", must be questioned. Most of the fluids that drain from the mouth of these calves probably come from the stomach, and the weight of the intestines on the diaphragm makes expansion of the lungs difficult. The most effective way to clear the airway is by suction.

Respiration is stimulated by many factors, but only ventilation of the lungs, allow us to render help immediately. Brisk rubbing of the skin and tickling inside the nostril with a piece of straw also has a favorable effect. The phrenic nerve can be stimulated with a sharp tap on the chest slightly above and behind where the heartbeat can be felt."

Source: Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Extension Cattle Reproduction Specialist

Friday, January 29, 2010

Full Moon on the Trinity River - and did you know tonight's full January moon once belonged to February?

Above, a nice rendering of the the Trinity River and a Full Moon from an old book on Texas history, click the image for the full text.  Below, comments on February weather from 82 years ago.

The Weather for February - (The Farm Journal, Phil., PA, 1918)
        The story reads, " Then came old February, sitting in an old wagon, for he could not ride," perhaps because he was so abused, for February has always been a much abused month. The year used to begin with March, and February was last. February then had one day less than any other month, or twenty-nine days. In 1752 the month was shifted to its present place, and the new year began in January.  
        When old Emperor Augustus wanted to add an extra day to the month bearing his name, it was taken from February, the month least able to spare it. In 1866 they even took away February's full moon, giving January two and March two. No such thievery had ever been practiced on any month before in history. Astronomers have apparently made better laws since then, for they promise that such.a thing will not befall any month again for 2,500,000 years. So February will have a full moon every year during our lifetime, anyway.
     In an average February half the days are cloudy ; this year the sun will not be seen the first five days of the month—at the north pole. So the groundhog will not see his shadow there when he comes out of his hole February 2. See how his forecast works this year. He always consults his own comfort when he makes his exit from winter quarters too soon. Our average February temperature ranges from 7° in Minnesota to 65° in Florida.
" February fill the dyke
Either with the black or white ;
If it be white it's the better to like," 
expresses a prevailing opinion that a snowy February means a fruitful year. There is much truth in the saying, for heavy snow has a good effect on the soil. Look for the first robin the last of the month. A better indication of spring is a box of early tomato plants, a seed-corn tester or a chilled lamb in the kitchen.
J.West's Colonel Beau at 22 Months Old, Owned by Al & Dalene Ross

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Spring Calving Time is Almost Here!

Another great article from  Click the blog title link for full text.  Presented here is Halliburton Boopsie, AKA Wanda Mae, going through the various stages of calving a bull calf sired by J.West's King Cole.



by: Stephen B. Blezinger  Ph.D, PAS

 ". . .We know, fortunately, that most calves are born alive and unassisted. We also know that those that require assistance create some of the greatest headaches on the farm. This is especially true on ranches that purchase or retain and calve out heifers. Some current data indicates that an estimate 16 to 18 percent of all heifers calved require some type of assistance with the calving process. That can be compared to about three to four percent of cows which may require assistance. . .(Note: Generally, British White cows rarely need calving assistance unless it's an unusual problem, like a breech birth.)

The Precalving Period
Management during the last third of pregnancy is very critical, especially for the growing heifer and developing calf. The producer must keep in mind that the heifer must continue to grow structurally and gain body weight during this 90-day period. The weight of the fetus and fetal fluids and membranes will increase about .90 lb per day. Therefore, the heifer needs to gain about 1 to 1.5 lbs per day to sustain her growth and that of the fetus. However, a heifer should not gain excessive weight and become fat as this may increase the likelihood of calving difficulty since a significant amount of this fat may be deposited in and around the reproductive organs. 

If the heifer is on a deficient nutritional level, she will draw nutrients from her body tissues to provide for the developing calf. The calf may lack vigor or energy at birth and need help nursing. These heifers may be short of colostrums, which is a component of the first milk given by the female that passes on crucial antibodies to the calf that helps build the calf's immune system. In extreme cases, the calf may be born dead or die shortly after birth. Milk production will usually be decreased, which will reduce growth rate and weaning weight of the calf. Also, the heifer will tend to rebreed late or may fail to rebreed. All this said, it is obvious that producers cannot afford to compromise the nutritional plane of bred heifers. 

Some producers feel that reducing energy and/or protein intake prior to calving will reduce calf birth weights and, subsequently, calving difficulty and calf losses. Research does not agree with this. Restricting feed to heifers may reduce calf birth weights, but does not reduce calving difficulty. It may also decrease the percent of cows cycling and conceiving during the breeding season and it may reduce the weaning weight of the calves. Therefore, the practice of reducing feed to heifers in average or thin condition prior to calving is not advisable. However, feeding excess protein or energy to heifers should also be avoided."

Friday, January 22, 2010

Chef's Smuggling Donkey Salami? Funny...........

Another great blogger from The, Free membership required to vew blogs.  Click the Title Link above for original blog source.................
  Chef’s Table
By: Michael Formichella

Chefs caught smuggling meat
"I just finished reading a story on the Internet about the escapades of several chefs trying to smuggle charcuterie back into the United States from abroad. Mind you, rules are tougher after the Christmas Day bomb debunking.  The bomb didn't explode, but it spurred demand for pat-down searches, body scans and more-meticulous baggage examinations for airline passengers headed for the U.S.
One chef was thwarted at the gate by customs and his bags were confiscated for attempting to smuggle in salami made from donkey meat, which was hidden in shoes buried in his luggage. This particular chef swears his motivation was merely educational: he was taking the sample back to reverse engineer the process and recreate the product for his own business.
Our government isn't moved by these interests. Sausages and hams "are much more dangerous than people think," says Janice Mosher, an official at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which seizes about 4,000 pounds of prohibited meat, plant and animal products per day. "Those items truly have the ability to spread disease." The government is concerned that bacteria from a smuggled piece of meat will spread through the ecosystem, infecting livestock and hurting agricultural production, Ms. Mosher says, as quoted by the New York Times.
Many years ago I was on assignment in Gander, Newfoundland – way, way up north, above Nova Scotia. We stayed at a small bed and breakfast during our trip, and the owner of the establishment shared some of her prized moose and caribou meat, which she had canned. Upon my return to the states I was singled out of 75 passengers to be inspected, of course. Now, this was before 9-11 and customs were fairly loose then. Upon opening my baggage the officer found the two marked, unlabeled cans of mystery game meats. One beared a big M, the other a big C. "What is this?" he asked, thinking I don't know what. I responded matter-of-factly, "Moose and caribou, of course."  Well, after a twenty-minute lecture on smuggling contraband I was released with my cans of meat and told never to do this again.
 My question is, should we be allowed to bring small amounts of cured meats into this country for our own personal consumption? There are such amazing products that we can't get here in the US. Do we have to only eat these items when we visit and then dream about them in between?
Will I now be put on a permanent checklist for extra screening when I go through customs?"

Is There a Place in this Category for British White Cattle?

UPDATE 11/8/2011:  J.West's Gidget, pictured below, has had her first calf, a pretty heifer calf sired by J.West's S.S. Carter.  As well, our breeding program focused on low birth weight, Classic frame score 2 and 3 cattle has progressed well the past couple of years and we are commencing sales Classic Frame Miniature British White Cattle.  See Gidget and her newborn heifer in September 2011 at this link.  And visit our new web site featuring Classic Frame British White Beef Cattle at

(source:, article link is no longer active.)

"Although the cattle may be small, the competition was not. The Miniature Zebu, Miniature Herefords and Lowline Angus Cattle shows highlighted the morning activities in Reliant Center Tuesday.
Dottie Love of Fancher Love Ranch in Ennis, Texas, stood with her 4-year-old miniature Zebu cow "Rocket," as she waited to walk in the show ring. "Rocket," full-grown, stands about 35 inches tall and weighs about 300 pounds.

"Zebus are the smallest breed of cattle, but are naturally sized," Love said. Along with Love and "Rocket" was the cow's 3-month-old calf "Roosevelt," who compares in size to a young Labrador Retriever.

Love said the Zebu breeds have characteristics similar to Brahman cattle and that the term Zebu actually means "humped cow." The breed was brought to the United States in the 20th century for use in zoos and also as circus attractions, she said. Their small size played a role within the "side show" acts.

Region 6 director of the Miniature Hereford Breeders Association Greg Schulz said, "As long as there have been Herefords, there have been Mini-Herefords." 

This is Schulz's fourth year to bring his Miniature Herefords to the Show from his ranch in Bay City, Texas. He said most Miniature Herefords are likely a descendent of a bull named "Anxiety IV," and that they are all registered with the American Hereford Association, just as the larger Hereford cattle.

Miniature Hereford mature bulls must stand less than 48 inches tall, while a mature female can be no taller than 45 inches. The average weight is between 700 to 1,000 pounds.

Trevor Smith, founder of Smith & Associates in Kiowa, Colo., brought his Lowline Angus to the Houston Livestock Show for the second year. His business is a Lowline marketing group that specializes in breeding, sales, herd consulting and more.

"Lowlines are the descendants of Angus cattle," Smith said. "They are the result of a 40- year breeding project."

With an approximate shoulder height of 40 inches, mature bulls weigh between 1,100 to 1,800 pounds, and mature females weigh between 900 to 1,100 pounds, Smith said."

********Source:  HLSR Web, follow title post link above.

Monday, January 18, 2010

An Interesting Bit of History on Truly Freezing Weather in Southeast Texas

How Galveston's Frozen Point got its name
Bitter cold conjures up memories of 1895
By SHANNON TOMPKINS Copyright 2010 Houston Chronicle
Jan. 16, 2010, 9:01PM  

Excerpts Follow, Please Click Here or the Blog Title Link for the Full article.

It was blasted cold for southeast Texas this past Saturday morning — 22 degrees according to the truck's thermometer — and ice coated the surface of ditches bracketing the gravel road carved through the marsh on the north side of East Galveston Bay.

My mind wandered as I watched a handful of ducks bore low over the flat, winter-browned landscape, looking for some patch of unfrozen water into which they could pitch and settle. I imagined the swarms of waterfowl I'd have seen had I been at this spot 115 years ago.

“Reaching East Bay, they saw dead cattle lying so thick in the shallow waters along the shore that a man could walk for several hundred yards out into the Bay on the bodies of the dead cattle.

“There was a point of land extending out into the Bay where most of the cattle made their last stand before stepping off into the water to their death.

“From that day forward this point of land was known as Frozen Point.”
If they only knew ...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Adding Value to Your Calves

Click the blog title link for the full text of this CattleNetwork article.

      Southeast Texas cattle producers, both seedstock and commercial cattlemen, should consider participating and pooling of their calf crop within a value-added age and source verification program.  At first look it may seem overwhelmingly complicated and challenging and likely aggravating as well.  But in today's market, and in the market of the future, participants in these programs have the best odds of thriving as individual producers.  Particular breeds as well, such as British White, will see increased demand for their breeding stock and for their calf crop, with breed identification coupled with age and source verification through one of the many existing programs offered today.  Igenity , which offers the beef industry with the most comprehensive and powerful DNA profile available, has now incorporated age and source verification into their product offerings through a partnership with Global Animal Management.

Excerpts follow from an interview with "Ken Conway, PhD, founder and head of GeneNet, one of the nation’s leading marketing alliances that pools calves to sell on a quality grid."

BI: Don’t Fly Blind, Advises This Veteran Of The Value-Added Movement
07/22/2009 02:30PM

Know what you’re selling. “There just aren’t a lot of cattle producers left anymore who can afford to treat calf raising as a spectator sport,” says Dr. Conway, whose GeneNet Alliance now pools calves from more than 1,000 calf producers and 100 feedyards to market on a carcass grid Swift offers only to GeneNet.
As relatively small a step as joining a Beef Quality Assurance program has been shown to bring a premium. And age and source verification can be the easiest money a producer can make, if he’s willing to take the often difficult mental step of opening up his records to a stranger.
“You have got to understand what your cattle are, and what they’re really worth, he says. GeneNet typically returns carcass data from the packer to subscribers in under a week. “I know, a lot of cow/calf producers feel, ‘I’ve got a great set of calves. I’ve always topped the sale.’ But I always tell them unless you know how your calves will grow, what they’ll gain in the feedyard, how they’ll hold up to stress and disease once the next guy owns them, and what they’ll do on a grid, in the end you really don’t know what it is you’re selling. And if you don’t know that, you really don’t have any idea of where to go or what to do with those calves to bring you what they’re really worth.

“When I started GeneNet 10 years ago, that was a time when very few people were even putting tags in ears. Once we finally got some of those guys to send cattle through the program, to kill them on the grid, we saw the same thing happen again and again. They’d look at a set of cattle and see them as peas in a pod—a good set of top calves with no difference down the line from top to bottom. And then we’d send back the kill sheet data on them that showed a $300 difference in the spread in the final value of these calves.”

That’s the kind of market intelligence that will make the difference between the successful cattle producer and the not so successful in the coming years, Dr. Conway believes. “I’ve got a lot of producers who say if it wasn’t for GeneNet, they wouldn’t be in business. You just can’t afford to give away the quality you’ve invested in—not for very long, anyway.”

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Education of Texas Regional markets on the British White cattle breed is Sorely Needed

A year and more ago I was thrilled that my neighbor, Mr. Brown, decided to give one of my British White bulls a try on his commercial cattle herd. Today, I'm not so thrilled, and I feel partly responsible for his taking a beating at the sale barn -- just because his calves were mostly white. (Pictured to the right and below are a set of twins, one day old, sired by a British White bull, pictures courtesy of Kristi Wynn.)

My neighbor took nine healthy calves to the Livingston auction barn and came back with $2200 and a sour taste in his mouth -- he took his bull the following week. Mr. Brown has been in the cattle business all of his life, and his father before him, and on further back I'm sure, even on the same home place. Besides raising cattle, he also raises and harvests a lot of the hay in this area, so his cattle always have a ready supply. So there is no question but that his calves were fit and healthy and comparable to the black and brown ones that sold much higher. Not to mention they were across the road from me and I could see them thriving with my own eyes since they first hit the ground last spring.

Mr. Brown remains very impressed with the crossbred calves from his commercial stock. He contends they were up and on their feet and lively much faster than any calves he's ever had. Despite his giving up his bull, he's considering talking to a major local buyer about the possibilities of selling his calf crop direct to them in the future, as well as questioning them on why his white calves took such a hit at the sale barn -- he wants to try to understand this hit to his cattle budget a little better.

I had already told Mr. Brown I was concerned that he would be disappointed at the sale price of his calves, as I had taken two cull bull calves, and one fat steer, to the sale barn several months back and was shocked at just how low they sold. Sure cattle prices are down, but it seems that what sold for a little less in good times, now sells for a whole lot less.

Mr. Brown, being forewarned by me, made sure he told everyone at the barn that his calves were NOT Longhorn, they were British White sired calves, but it didn't matter -- they still sold as Longhorns. Funny thing with this group of calves, only two of them had much black on them at all. His British White bull threw fantastic color, very classic British White markings, hardly a spot even on them.

Some time ago I explored the idea of tagging our calves with a breed identifying tag that would stay with them throughout the auction barn to feedlot process. And in addition to breed identification, have the tags fitted with electronic ID and the calves part of a Source and Age Verification program for members who wished to participate.

To my mind, this would increase the value of our white calves, as well as provide positive breed identification to the feedlot finishers. If in fact our British White sired calves fattened and graded well, then the feedlots would tell the order buyers and other middle buyers, and demand and price for our white calves would improve.

Perhaps this is just a local East Texas/Southeast Texas problem. If so, then the members/breeders in this region of Texas, like myself, have to address the problem themselves. If some of you have suggestions about how best to approach the education/marketing of this regional area of Texas on the desirable carcass traits of the British White breed -- please share them!

Monday, January 11, 2010

News Flash! Polled White Cattle with Black Points in Wisconsin, USA in 1815

Otago Witness , Issue 1942, 7 February 1889, Page 7 (Dunedin, New Zealand)

Among the known breeds of polled cattle one scarcely ever hears of a white polled breed, and yet it is extremely probable that the first polled cattle in England were of a white colour. The late Rev. J. Storer mentions in his book, "Wild White Cattle of Great Britain," no less than four herds of wild or semi- wild white-polled cattle that were kept in parks in Great Britain, all of which were believed to be descended from the original wild cattle of the country. Some of these cattle were said to be as large as shorthorns (Shorthorns are a composite breed from the old White Cattle), the flesh was of excellent quality, and some were good milkers. Crossed breeds from these white-polled cattle existed in several places, and were highly esteemed, but I fancy they have long since disappeared.

A breed of white-polled cattle cropped up in America in a rather peculiar manner. Mention is made in "Flocks and Herds" of a line of white polled cattle, owned by a farmer in Wisconsin in 1815. They are described as having black muzzles and ears, and black spots about the foot. Of late years, they have been bred to Galloway bulls.

The writer in the journal quoted says : "The white cattle were favourites because they were very docile, large and rich milkers, and fair beeves, being of good size and reasonably hardy."

The London Zoological Gardens - A White Park Cattle Breeding Experiment in the late 19th Century

The 1891 clipped article below mentions the wild and crazy white heifer captured and taken to the London Zoological Gardens in the third paragraph, the way the heifer was handled makes one wish PETA could go back in time and prosecute!  If I were to abuse one my heifers, you can bet the whole of the herd would gather up to see what the distress was about -- and you can bet I'd be watching my back. 
The next article is a very interesting read, and in conflict with the first one.  It indicates the first wild heifer was captured from the Chillingham herd, rather than the Assheton -Smith's herd;  obviously one of the writers is in error.  Odds are the correct story is the first one, and neither the referenced heifer or bull came from Chillingham.

Source: Grey River Argus, Volume XXX, Issue 7057, 29 April 1891, Page 4
Click the source link above for the original.  In this article from 1891, the first heifer captured and taken to the London Zoological  originated from the Chillingham herd, rather than the Vaynol herd mentioned in the article above.  Of great interest here is the stated plan of obtaining animals from all the various polled and horned herds, and allowing them to breed together in an attempt to have the result of that breeding be animals more closely resembling the original type. 

It is very clear that all the herds were considered ancient and closely related.  The Somerford, Blickling, and Cadzow herds were polled and horned in this period of time. Of course, nowadays, political and monied interest seek to claim that the polled variety is not in the least related to the horned variety -- which is utter nonsense. 

"All these survivals of wild life are profoundly interesting to zoologists, who are looking with great curiosity to the attempt now being made to perpetuate the wild white cattle of Britain at the Zoological Gardens.  A wild bull was presented from Lord Ferrers's herd at Chartley, near Uttoxeter, was presented to the gardens last summer, and a wild heifer from Lord Tankerville's herd at Chillingham has now been added."

"The Zoological Society will try to procure specimens from the other herds— Mr. Assheton-Smith's at Vaynol, the Duke of Hamilton's at Cadzow, Lady Lothian's at Blickling, and Sir Charles Shakerley's at Somerford, near Congleton. All these breeds have much in common, with small differentiating peculiarities, such as the colour of their "points"and the shape of their horns.'  Zoologists hope by crossing the various strains to arrive at the original type, which is older than English civilisation and from which all these species are derived."

Cutting to the Chase - "Be Right, Then Stand up for What is Right"

A great site for beef producers to keep an eye on for issues that impact the beef industry is Membership is free, and you'll have access to blogs such as the one below that caught my attention this morning. Click the title link for the source page. Over the past several months more and more folks are finding their voice in regard to what many now feel is a real issue impacting all aspects of the beef industry - methane gas from cattle and Global Warming.

In industry blogs and in blog commentary there is to be found much debate and opinion about the impact to the future if in fact Cows are ultimately found to be a 'non-essential' food and destroyer of the Ozone.

Cutting to the Chase - Happy New Year: get ready for a fight
By: Raoul Baxter
January 07, 2010

(The views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the author.)
"I think 2010 is going to be a very tough year for agriculture of all types, primarily because we have a panel of government appointees who have a much different agenda than the state of agriculture.

During 2010 we as agricultural professionals have to learn to listen to conflicting if not adversarial views. We get nothing out of talking to each other to reaffirm what we already believe. If you want to remain ignorant about anything just talk to or read things written by people who agree with you. You have to understand where adversaries are coming from, if nothing else to understand where they're coming up with what they think is true. We can agree to disagree, and we may actually agree on some things. Loose-cannon fanatics are just going to be part of the landscape.

We must push relentlessly for facts, common sense and truth. Also, provide people with proper perspective. There aren't many people who take personal tours of the agriculture Twilight Zone. We must be aggressive and nonstop in dealing with truth and facts. Don't allow people to lie, fabricate or fictionalize facts about agriculture. The time to be passive is over. These people are trying to destroy us, so why should we just sit and watch them distort everything? But we must be honest and open. It's not so hard to say, "It was a mistake," if that happens.

In 2006, the United Nations, famous for its self-interest and usually incorrect information, did a "study" on how much methane cows give off. They said it was 16 percent, and then every pseudo expert began to run with it for three years. Then the EPA, U. of California at Davis and U. of California independently found this number was actually 2.8 percent. So the UN was 150 percent wrong.

This is the kind of challenge we face. Be right and then stand up for what is right."

Friday, January 8, 2010

Hey Baby! It's Cold Out There!

What a day!  Iced over water troughs, frozen water hoses, frozen water lines and a frozen nose to boot!  I would include a photo with this blog, but I don't want the camera to freeze.  Can camera's freeze?  Everything else seems to be quite capable.  Including the pump on the tank sprayer.  Not sure about that though, would have to go back out into the cold and inquire just how that very major problem has been resolved, if it's been resolved.

The entire day has been focused on busting an inch plus deep layer of ice on all of the water troughs every few hours, and figuring how to get the tanks refilled.  It was apparent the water lines were quite comfortably frozen and the sun wasn't going to show up and give us a thaw.  Two of the water troughs are close enough that we can string together water hose and refill them.  But, it seems we didn't leave them in the old trailer with the heat running quite long enough to clear them completely, so it's a slow fill of those tanks right now. 

The biggest probems was the BIG herd, as I call them.  My bright idea was to fill the tank sprayer with water and haul it to them.  Sounds plausible.  We've used it to haul water for lots of other things, and that antique tank sprayer has always been reliable.  But not today!  Not so far!  The last word on that, before I hustled into the house to tend the fire (I like that job), was an old-fashioned syphoning of the water from the tank sprayer to the trough.  Hopefully, if that is the last resort, it works.  We have a spare pasture and water trough we can move the BIG herd into, but my plan was to leave that for tomorrow. 

My weatherman, Mike, says it will be even worse tomorrow, and so no guarantees the two faucets we managed to get running will give us the slightest gurgle tomorrow.  Worst case scenario, I'll pull all but one bull, open up all the gates, and let the herd meet and greet each other and go to the pond to water. Kind of an Open House at the ranch for my British White girls, let them graze the buffet in one another's pastures.

All this effort and worry about the cows and the extreme cold!  They're enjoying every minute of it!  Getting extra alfalfa rations, seeming to grow longer fluffier hair right in front of me, while my own is in a perpetual squashed down bad hair day deluxe. They look at me in my heavy insulated coveralls and strange hat pulled low, and just about shake their head in wonder and I swear think I look kind of scary.  It could be that I'm kind of walking like the little bundled up boy in A Christmas Story -- definitely not the normal human they are accustomed to.

If this is Global Warming and more is yet to come, I'll definitely start making plans for more stock ponds.  Or maybe lay in a mile long supply of water hoses and provide them with their very own heated storage area.  Of course, we could have thought to drain a few of the ones we own before this hard freeze hit.  But, hey, we aren't in Alaska for crying out loud!  Who knew they'd become so vital today -- a simple water hose, or rather, several simple water hoses, preferably thawed.

UPDATE:  Just came back in from feeding Donny, my old horse (who has a new stable coat thankfully!), and checking on the water situation.  Mike and Brian were filling the last water trough with a big blue fire hose looking thing hooked up to a generator, which was all hooked up to the tank sprayer somehow, and with major water pressure!  I was very impressed to say the least. 

On my walk back to the house I remembered a couple of things I intended to mention here.  Cow Patties.  I picked up somewhere along the years of my life that Cow Patties/Paddies? can be used as fuel for a fire.  I have never stopped and thought that through at all.  Today, it hit me.  Frozen Cow Patties, they are like bricks!  You could probably use them to clobber somebody - I know they kick across the pasture pretty well.  I've always thought, yuck, about using cow patties, actually picking them up and piling them up?  Couldn't figure it.  Now I can figure it.

Muddy Boots?  If you live in frozen country, it's not a problem!  The big plus to the past couple of days is walking on in the house with your boots on, and leaving them inside and warm and ready for the next trek to the troughs for a little ice-breaking.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

From the BornAgainAmerican.Org Web Site

Received the link to this web page in an email today, I think it is so very much something we all should watch and listen to.  The message is beautiful and compelling, as are all the people. Click the embedded video below, or visit the web site by clicking on the blog title link. 

Born Again American

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The American naturalist, Volume 21 By Essex Institute - Establishing the Presence of a 'dun black' or white Hornless/Polled breed in 9th century Ireland

Click the embedded pages provided by for additional reading...............
"The fourth is the Maol or Moyle, the polled or hornless breed similar to the Angus of the neighboring kingdom -- called Myleen in Connaught, Mael in Munster, and Mwool in Ulster. In size they were inferior to the foregoing although larger than the Kerry, or even the old crook horned Irish, but were comparatively few in numbers. In color they were either dun black or white, but very rarely mottled. They were not bad milkers, were remarkably docile and were consequently much used for draught and ploughing.

"....The range of date of that crannoge has been fixed from AD 843 to 933.  From these localities as well as in deep cuttings made for the same purpose, and in peat bogs, etc other specimens of bovine remains have been deposited in the museum.  I have selected twenty heads of ancient oxen and arranged them in four rows each row characteristic of a peculiar race or breed viz the straight horned the curved or middle horned the short horned and the hornless or maol all of which existed in Ireland in the early period to which I have already alluded.   According to my own observations we possessed four native breeds about twenty five years ago.

 . . . .Third the Irish long horned similar to but not identical with the Lancashire or Craven. The fourth is the Maol or Moyle, the polled or hornless breed similar to the Angus of the neighboring kingdom, called Myleen in Connaugh.t Mael in Munster ,and Mwool in Ulster.   In size they were inferior to the foregoing although larger than the Kerry, or even the old crook horned Irish, but were comparatively few in numbers. In color they were either dun black or white, but very rarely mottled. They were not bad milkers, were remarkably docile and were consequently much used for draught and ploughing.