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Wednesday, March 03 2010


It's that time again! There are three major holiday seasons in Texas - Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Rodeo! Despite the fact that we will all whine and bemoan that each year the show gets more commercial and moves further away from its "Livestock show" roots, we'll all still knock the dust off the hats and head to town!

Since the Rodeo is ALL about education, pregnant farm animals are brought in from the local veterinary university. There, under the watchful eyes of their trained staff, and a half a million elementary school children, they will give birth. (Something tells me the cows would probably rather be outside in the cold pasture, but no one asked me!) Mothers and babies stay for the remainder of the livestock show in a "farm yard nursery."  This popular exhibit hosts Jersey cows, sheep, and hogs.

I tell you all this to lead up to our Rodeo Quote of the Season:

As soon as we entered the exhibit hall last night, Other Half turned to me and said, (I kid you not!) "OH! Let's go see if any baby calves have been born yet!!!"

Note to new readers:  This man has a whole damned pasture full of baby calves!!!!  He DOES NOT need to drive to town to look at someone else's BABY COWS!!!!

But look he did.  Like any city slicker, he oohed and ahhed over baby Jersey calves. Then he sat back and watched the yuppies ooh and ahh. He did resist the urge to point out that the little bull calf they were admiring was undoubtedly destined to be hamburger since it was a male. He also resisted the urge to point out that the birth weight of our lambs was much higher, but then our sheep are for meat and not wool, so I guess the skinny wool lamb has the last laugh.

There was so much more that I could have seen last night, but we got sidetracked. He heard an auctioneer.

To a rancher, the sound of an auctioneer is like announcing a shoe sale in a room full of women with new credit cards. With absolutely no warning, I found myself in the middle of a Simbrah auction. (But we don't raise Simbrah. Why are here?") But alas, he'd heard the call of the auctioneer. I knew that look on his face. He was on vacation.  He was at the rodeo. He had Bonus Money in his pocket. That is a recipe for buying cattle.  I looked at the bovine faces tied along the fence and tried to predict who was coming home with us. I know NOTHING about Simbrah cattle, but I KNOW how to pick a good cow. My criteria for cows goes like this - ARE THEY CALM?

That's about it. Does it look like something I want to live with?  I don't care how pretty it is, if it leaps fences, tries to stomp dogs, or runs over people, then it needs to live in someone else's pasture. Other Half selects cows based on how much meat he thinks it will produce, ease of calving, whether or not she has nice teats, and . . . whether or not I declare she has a "sweet face."

A very nice looking heifer dragged a young man into the arena. ABSOLUTELY NOT!  She was pretty, in a crazed Volkswagon kind of way.  I watched her swish her tail and haul that big, corn-fed boy around. NO WAY, JOSE! Since her purchase price did not include Hank the Corn-Fed Cowboy to handle her big ass, I nixed her pretty quickly. Other Half wasn't discouraged.  There were plenty of calm ones tied to the fence.

Finally I found one I liked.  She was big.  She was calm. She'd just had a baby two months ago. Hmmmmmm . . .  Where was the baby? Other Half was so busy asking himself that question that a buyer from Mexico snapped up Big Mamma. That was okay with me. (He kicked himself the rest of the night.) I was getting bored quickly. Princess didn't come to the Rodeo to buy cows. Princess came to the Rodeo to shop! And look at GOATS!  And look at SHEEP! And EAT!!!  Princess did NOT WANT TO BUY MORE COWS! 

So Princess and her camera wandered off in search of cuteness. Nothing quite screams "Yuppy Tourist" like a Canon hanging around your neck, but since I have nothing to prove to anyone, I happily embarked on my National Geographic tour of the Livestock Show. It didn't take me long to locate goats. Goats that belong to someone else are cute. Well, not this guy. 

This moron kept backing up, charging his bucket, and backing up again, and charging his bucket again. While it was entertaining, it would definitely eliminate him from MY breeding program. 

 I kept searching.  I was searching for cute, not stupid.  Then I found it! 

Look closely!  Buried in that mound of cuteness is even more cuteness!!!  


I think he might be a tiny Angora goat buried under those dairy goat kids.  This little fellow is just Beyond Cute!

Other Half eventually caught up with me here.  Most of the calves went to Mexico. None of the calves came to live with us. But the show is just getting geared up and Other Half will be there all week.  There is no telling what he'll come home with.  Last year we ended up with a Border Collie.

But this year . . .  I got these really cool Border Collie socks!

(Almost, but not quite, as cute as an baby Angora goat!)



Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 08:41 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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