Once in a while I’m right…

Last week I saw a herd of cattle set up shop around the watering station near Landlady’s place, and naturally assumed they belonged to the ranchers who hold the local grazing lease. I was resigned but unhappy – they run hundreds of cattle through here when the grass permits, which means meandering cattle knocking down my stuff and shitting on it, all the large wildlife moving away, and occasional encounters with bad-tempered breed bulls which can be hazardous if you’re on foot. I don’t get a vote, but if I did I would much prefer the cattle to not be here.

But there were strange things about these particular cattle: For one thing, the cattlemen had done nothing to accommodate them. No supplements, and the well pump was still turned off. It’s a bad time to graze cattle here – it’s been super dry until recently and there’s no grass to speak of. The last time they ran a new herd out here when the grass wasn’t growing, they left quite a few corpses before they quit trying and rounded them up. And these cattle just looked wrong: I’m no expert but I know an Angus mix cow when I see one and these weren’t that. They were small, scruffy, brown, and looked poorly fed.

Last time I saw a small herd in advance of big ones, he said they weren’t his and that turned out to not be true. So when he denied owning these, I assumed he wasn’t telling the truth.

Turns out he was telling the truth. Now I’m all confused.

These turned out to be criollo, and were runaways from a ranch substantially to the south of here – they’ve been missing for weeks and must have been very happy to find a quiet place with open water. 🙂 I’m told they’ve been rounded up and herded back home.

And yes, that does mean that if an unscrupulous person found a stray, he could probably get away with eating stringy steak. No, I’m not an unscrupulous person.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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12 Responses to Once in a while I’m right…

  1. R says:

    So you don’t know how that calf wound up in Gitmo?

  2. M says:

    Criollo – I Learn something new every day!

  3. Joel says:

    I categorically deny all knowledge of a small brown calf in Gitmo.

  4. Robert says:

    M beat me to it. Criollo, huh. Interesting times, indeed.

  5. Vollinger says:

    Very enjoyable article!
    “Criollo spend less time near water than British breeds, graze fewer hours and over more diverse terrain, and remain active during extreme heat […] because they store fat around their kidneys.”
    Wonder if it is the same for desert hermits of the human variety.

  6. Paul B says:

    they would probably make decent steaks. More about how you cook it will make the cut better.

    Grind it and you never know.

  7. Judy says:

    After reading the article, Criollo make more sense in Arizona than Angus. Might make more sense anywhere west of the Sixth Principal Meridian. When you take into account the amount of supplemental feed and the water being pumped out of the Ogallala Aquifer that goes into raising beef for the table.

  8. Spud says:

    Premade jerked beef on the hood !

  9. Mark Matis says:

    Oh come on now, Spud! Joel ain’t gonna run over ’em with his Jeep!!!

  10. mattexian says:

    I think Spud meant “on the hoof,” not hood, altho if one darted in front of the Jeep, I reckon it could end up on the hood. Whether by physics, or muscle and rope. Heck, might make a hood ornament with the horns!

  11. Joel says:

    😀 I assumed he meant on the hood, because that’s the way people brought game home when I was a kid.

  12. John says:

    Sure would be sad to lose the adaptive grass fed beef.
    The soy fakery is maybe the end of man?
    Can we bring back Mastodon or Tyrannosaurus stakes?
    (Maybe with different free range rules?)

To the stake with the heretic!