Monday, January 11, 2010

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.