Milkmaid, you make some very good points. A couple of huge mistakes that alot of buyers make is they try to judge a cow in the ring and they pay attention to what the auctioneer or the owner says about the animal. If you want to be successful at buying cattle at an auction, you have to go back into the pen and judge the animal for disposition, bump her to see if she is bred, if that is important to you, check her all over for her health and whether or not she acts like there might be a problem. Her eyes and ears will give an indication if she doesnt feel good. Use your experience to factor in all of these and decide if she is a cow that will work for your purpose. The auctioneer is trying to get the most money for an animal, dont let him affect the price the animal is worth to you. The owner wants the most money for his or her animal and some owners will lie, some owners will tell the truth, and some owners, simply are mistaken in some of the things they say. Use your judgement, what the owner says about the animal may not even come into play as far as your purpose---dont let a good story get you to pay more for the animal than you believe it is worth to you. If an animal is worth more to someone else, let them pay it, there will always be more animals for sale.