We sold the boss cow

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Frankie

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The rest of the girls have been lost without her to tell them when to come up for feed. It's interesting to see who's taking over. Right now it seems that a 4 year old cow is taking the lead. That seems young to me and she's not very big either.
 

Craig-TX

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Frankie, your post along with some recent posts about retaining heifers got me recollecting something I saw years ago that I found very interesting. It was a tombstone for a cow, an impressive obelisk shaped monument about seven feet tall, just sitting in a pasture off of a dirt road. When I saw it I stopped and climbed fence to check it out and couldn’t get over the fact that it was for a cow. Over the years I’ve often wondered about the story behind it and your post finally prompted me to do an internet search. Some of you folks might find this interesting…

The actual inscription on the marker reads:
“BREEZE - 21st, 31984 - Hereford Cow - born 1887 - died 1903 - Mother of the Dibrell herd”

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com ... reeze.html

The story behind the marker:
“W. C. Dibrell Reminiscing about his peers in the Hereford business many years later, John Lee related the unusual success story of the Dibrell family.

"W. C. Dibrell of the Echo Ranch in Coleman County established his herd in 1887 with the purchase of four head of registered cattle at the Dallas Fair," Lee remembered. "One bull died of tick fever, one heifer choked to death on a salt sack and one cow, Breeze 21st, built the Dibrell herd of several hundred cattle."

W.C.’s son J. C. reported that the family sold descendants of that one cow for a total of $270,000! Here is his account, published in the August, 1920, issue of The Cattleman:

"Our herd of registered Herefords was founded by the late W. C. Dibrell by the purchase of one bull, Bangor 28747 by Conqueror, and one cow, Breeze 21st 21984 by Prosey. He paid $100 each for them at the Dallas, Texas, fair in 1887. At that time there were no Herefords in West Texas and the friends of W. C. Dibrell joked him about his ‘pretty playthings.’
"Breeze 21st was a regular breeder and most of her calves were females. At the time of her death, May 20, 1903, she had 162 descendants. To date our family has recorded in the American Hereford Cattle Breeders’ Association 1,040 head, the same being the direct descendants of the one cow. For more than 20 years we never sold a female, and we have sold very few since. This illustrates what can be done with this wonderful breed of cattle.

"In this period of 32 years, our cattle have got through two very disastrous drought periods, but their wonderful constitutions seem to withstand all climatic changes.

"Taking $260 as the average price of all cattle sold by us and multiplying it by 1,040 gives $270,400. Divide by 32 and you have an annual income of $8,450 on an investment of $100 for the cow Breeze 21st. A beautiful marble shaft marks the resting place of our family cow."
By the time the Texas Hereford Association celebrated its golden jubilee in 1949, Texas had one-fifth of the registered Herefords in the entire United States—largest number by far, of any state. It was estimated that at least 75 percent of the beef cattle raised in the Lone Star State were Hereford.”

Anyway, I thought it was an interesting part of cattle history.

Craig-TX
 

Cattle Rack Rancher

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I sold my boss cow a couple of years ago. The second cow in the pecking order had a very nervous disposition and I ended up having to buy a new boss cow, because that nervous disposition changed the attitude of my whole herd.
 

dun

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The comment about changing the of attitude with the change of boss cow brings to mind..........
Old Granny slipped her calf this last year and is open. She's the boss and there is no mistaking that fact. I've been planning on sending her down the road since we preg checked last Sept. We figured, what the heck we've got plenty of grass. We're actaully considering breeding her again this year only because she's such a pushy witch when she's in heat. Maybe the status quo is worth having a none producer of calves. She does produce tranquility and ease of working, besides, I really like that old cow.

dun

Cattle Rack Rancher":1tv1e8i1 said:
I sold my boss cow a couple of years ago. The second cow in the pecking order had a very nervous disposition and I ended up having to buy a new boss cow, because that nervous disposition changed the attitude of my whole herd.
 

Jake

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We've got an old red angus cow that we always think is about on her last leg. She is deffinatly the leader of the herd. Everything follows her everywhere. It's amazing how she recognizes one thing that is supposed to be done and she does it. She's always the first in the pen or leading them out the gate when we rotate pastures. She has never failed to produce a calf and they keep getting better as she ages. Until she starts losing condition she'll probably stay around.
 

PATB

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How many of you have favorite cows that will stay on the place no matter what? I have several that are pushing 14 years old and rebreed every year. I will keep them as long as possible on the hope of getting 1 more heifer.
 

Craig-TX

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PATB":n9hi49s9 said:
How many of you have favorite cows that will stay on the place no matter what? I have several that are pushing 14 years old and rebreed every year. I will keep them as long as possible on the hope of getting 1 more heifer.

We don’t have a single “sacred cow” but we’ve kept a few too long over the years. I don’t care how jaded you get, it’s tough to sell a good cow that has produced year in and year out and you feel like you know her. I had to put one down last year. She got in trouble and when I found her the calf was already choked to death. She was older than dirt but very intelligent, still in pretty good shape and had raised many good calves. We decided to give her one more year and it turned out to be the wrong decision. I hated to shoot her.

Have you ever seen the episode from All Creatures Great and Small where the crusty diary farmer finally culled an old cow but she ran off on the way to market and came home, and he changed his mind? I love that show. It’s funny how the people sound different than we’re accustomed to, but the personality types are exactly the same wherever you go.

Craig-TX
 

A. delaGarza

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PATB":1eczxl01 said:
How many of you have favorite cows that will stay on the place no matter what? I have several that are pushing 14 years old and rebreed every year. I will keep them as long as possible on the hope of getting 1 more heifer.

I have two 16 year old Simmental cows that I bought as heifers to the Graff family in Canada, usually I sell my old cows after 12, I had kept some of them just because I like them but to be sincere in the bu$$ine$$ what has to be slaughter should be slaughter
 
A

Anonymous

Sacred cows --- I've always sworn that I would not let sentimentality stop me from selling a cow but I have one older granny type that I just might let stay around till she dies. She's a real little gal, probably doesn't weigh more than 950 soaking wet, and she's the one that I hope is way off in the back pasture when some of my friends come to visit, since she is so small and unimpressive looking. But her calving interval for 9 calves is now right at 350 days and she definitely raises the biggest calf on my place as a percentage of her body weight. She always stays in good shape and has the best disposition of any of my cows. I can even give her a shot of Ivomec by just walking up to her in the pasture and sticking in the needle. And I think she has more brain power than other cows -- one time I was walking in the pasture, twisted my ankle and fell real hard into a thorn bush. I let out a pretty good moan/scream --- she witnessed this and actually came trotting over to me and stood there as though she was concerned for my welfare. Guess I've just convinced myself that she has a place on my little ranchito as long as she wants. Arnold Ziffle
 

jcarkie

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my avatar picture is from my granny cow's calf. she is in my back yard and i hand feed her. she raises a whopper of a calf. good disposition, sometimes too good i can't get her to walk away, i have to lead her. i want another heifer before she goes.
 

cherokeeruby

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Sure am glad I am not the only one who is sentimental about a cow that leads the rest gently and always knows what we want them to do. Sure makes things easier.
 
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