Steer Planet - Show Steers and Club Calves Forum

Steer Planet Chat => The Big Show => Topic started by: frostback on February 08, 2013, 03:05:05 PM

Title: The worse part of the business
Post by: frostback on February 08, 2013, 03:05:05 PM
I didn't want to hijack firesweeps thread but thought they go hand and hand.  I am glad she had a good day and in most cases I feel that the good out number the bad but today I had to take a 10 year old cow that we raised to the sale barn today. Hate this part of it. She was a good cow, I traded my husband steers calves for her. But she aborted her ET calf 5 weeks early and her bag is not the best at 10 so with the weather helping make the decision she had to go. Hate this part.
Title: Re: The worse part of the business
Post by: kidsandkows on February 08, 2013, 03:21:26 PM
Yea we are weighing some of those decisions right now too. We have a cow that we have had for a long time almost as long as we have been married she is older than my kids. She was given to us and we bottle raised her. She normally produces one of our better calves. Our daughter will show her last year calf this year. But she is the oldest in the herd and we have had no winter moisture and very little grass so its looking like someone needs to go to town. But she might have been saved by some younger cows coming up open. There are 2 that we think might have lost their calf (I will preg them this weekend) but if they did they will go instead of Dixie. Not sure what im hoping for though? (lol)
Title: Re: The worse part of the business
Post by: ALTSIMMY 79 on February 08, 2013, 03:47:03 PM
I hear you loud and clear!  My best cow raised the best set of twin simmy bull calves this year in a complete drought,  then came in open. I guess ill always remember her though,  most cows this year didnt bring in one big calf , let alone two of them!
Title: Re: The worse part of the business
Post by: -XBAR- on February 08, 2013, 03:48:46 PM
Yea we are weighing some of those decisions right now too. We have a cow that we have had for a long time almost as long as we have been married she is older than my kids. She was given to us and we bottle raised her. She normally produces one of our better calves. Our daughter will show her last year calf this year. But she is the oldest in the herd and we have had no winter moisture and very little grass so its looking like someone needs to go to town. But she might have been saved by some younger cows coming up open. There are 2 that we think might have lost their calf (I will preg them this weekend) but if they did they will go instead of Dixie. Not sure what im hoping for though? (lol)

A cow like that I'd let her find her spot and lay down. Tough taking one that's been so good to you to town for a couple hundred bucks.  
Title: Re: The worse part of the business
Post by: -XBAR- on February 08, 2013, 03:55:41 PM
I hear you loud and clear!  My best cow raised the best set of twin simmy bull calves this year in a complete drought,  then came in open. I guess ill always remember her though,  most cows this year didnt bring in one big calf , let alone two of them!

ruthless!
Title: Re: The worse part of the business
Post by: leanbeef on February 08, 2013, 04:29:22 PM
I hear you loud and clear!  My best cow raised the best set of twin simmy bull calves this year in a complete drought,  then came in open. I guess ill always remember her though,  most cows this year didnt bring in one big calf , let alone two of them!

ruthless!

LOL sometimes you have to be...

I don't enjoy culling the old ones when they've done a good job for a long time. I just think of it as retirement for them, and I try not to think about the reality of the situation. I've had one cow I would have let die on the farm...cow prices were too high, and my dad is too practical, so we had her "retirement" party and she went to town. 17 years old and still sound as ever...pneumonia got her calf, and I talked him in to keeping her anyway. Then she popped up open, and I couldn't argue for her after that :-(   I'm less emotionally attached to a lot of them than I used to be, but I still respect the job they do for us. Of course, I'm not talking about the ones who get "fired" before retirement age ;-)
Title: Re: The worse part of the business
Post by: kidsandkows on February 08, 2013, 04:32:48 PM
Yea we are weighing some of those decisions right now too. We have a cow that we have had for a long time almost as long as we have been married she is older than my kids. She was given to us and we bottle raised her. She normally produces one of our better calves. Our daughter will show her last year calf this year. But she is the oldest in the herd and we have had no winter moisture and very little grass so its looking like someone needs to go to town. But she might have been saved by some younger cows coming up open. There are 2 that we think might have lost their calf (I will preg them this weekend) but if they did they will go instead of Dixie. Not sure what im hoping for though? (lol)

A cow like that I'd let her find her spot and lay down. Tough taking one that's been so good to you to town for a couple hundred bucks.  


More than likely that is what will happen. It sure has been a tough year! Or else we wouldnt be considering selling any we just got up to the number we wanted to run just in time to have to turn around and cut back because of the drought.
Title: Re: The worse part of the business
Post by: ROMAX on February 08, 2013, 05:44:52 PM
I think it would be more cruel to leave an older cow in the herd to "retire"than to ship them. As they get older there pecking order in the herd goes down to where they would be the "*****"of the herd and would suffer cruelty from more dominant cows.
Title: Re: The worse part of the business
Post by: aj on February 08, 2013, 06:42:56 PM
Aldens buried Dividend on their ranch. I can understand it. Cattle are not the equivilent of a human though. A humans life is way more valuable then a bovine's. The bible says so. Old horses are probably the hardest. My dad had an old horse he wouldn't ship. He died on the place. He looked like hell in his lst days but he had great care.
Title: Re: The worse part of the business
Post by: firesweepranch on February 08, 2013, 07:38:02 PM
Oh, sorry to hear this!  :'(  We have a few that will be here till they die, but luckily they are still young! Our oldest cow is 7 years old. My oldest daughter had to ship her beloved cow that won several big events out here. She calved as a two year old but failed to breed back. We AI'd her 5 times, then ran her with a bull several cycles (three different bulls over 5 cycles). Rolled her to fall and gave her one chance, and she came up open so she had to go. Not enough feed to keep her all winter with nothing to show for it. That was a hard lesson, but she handled it well. She never asked how much she brought at the stockyards, I just deposited the check in her savings and never mentioned it again.    :(

Oh, and AJ, I have my horse buried in one of our pastures. My parents got her for me when I was 10 (she was a year old), and I showed on the Paint and Pinto circuit with her for many years. She was my best friend. She died at 29, and we now call that pasture "Silly's pasture", since my mare's name was Silly. Really loved that horse, never found one to fill the void. I have several of her daughters and granddaughters, but none can replace her!
Title: Re: The worse part of the business
Post by: Will on February 08, 2013, 08:44:38 PM
I know dogs are differant but we have a blue healer that is 17 years opd.  She meets me at the back door and goes to the barn with me everyday.  I know someday in the not to distant  future she will not meet me at the door. And that will be a sad day
Title: Re: The worse part of the business
Post by: Limiman12 on February 09, 2013, 10:51:22 AM
My first purebred limi show heifer died on the place.    She was always  so broke to lead and easy to catch that she got to stay around as lead cow.  To round up the others we would just go put a halter on her and walk her to the corral.   She gave us an awesome bull as her second calf.   That bull became the patriarch of our herd, and at one time between heifers we kept out of Annie Marie, and heifers we kept out of the bull we figured that 90% of our herd was  a direct descendant of Annie.   She had three calves her past five years, the last one died on a rough spot of weather.   We had planned to have Annie's hide tanned when she died, but she actually died abut a week after her last calf did, and her hide was not in good shape.   We buried her, near the shade tree in the pasture we kept the young cows in.     Sometimes, just sometimes, they have earned  the right by giving so much to your herd that the few hundred dollars just doesn't seem right.   Jmho
Title: Re: The worse part of the business
Post by: SWMO on February 09, 2013, 12:09:12 PM
I was sorry when Service Pack closed its doors down the road from us.  We could take our old and cull cows straight to the packers knowing that they would not have to make a long truck ride or be recycled by a "cow trader" to try and get "one more calf out of her".
Title: Re: The worse part of the business
Post by: kanshow on February 09, 2013, 01:08:12 PM
I feel your pain Frostie.    The drought has been extremely hard on the older cows.  They had a tougher time maintaining condition thru the summer and have taken longer to get it back this winter.     Those old girls have sure paid their way around here but with the higher price of cows, cost of feed, shortage of pasture and water, there is a time when they have to go..    We have a pen of them that we are giving some extra feed & TLC.   One of them is a 13 year old cow that's done a good job for us every year but just hasn't been able to come back from last summer, even with extra feed.   I imagine she will go to town.
Title: Re: The worse part of the business
Post by: showsteercowgirl on February 09, 2013, 03:58:45 PM
I have to agree. As a mid-20s cattle raising individual, I never went a year in 4-H where I didn't have tears in my eyes as I put my steer on the trailer when the fair was over with. It always felt like the end of a chapter that I had spent a year of my life in. No matter that I had done it before and I knew with the purchase of every steer as a feeder calf that the day would eventually come, it doesn't make it any easier.
As for the cows, we had to part ways with our PB Angus cow that had spent 12 years on our farm a few months ago. She was always a big eater, and loved eating our leftovers from the fridge and melon rinds we threw out in the summertime. She was definitely the "in-charge" cow in our herd, but was so special. Never chased us when she had a calf that needed tagged and vaccinated. Always a kind soul, and never got crazy with us. A few tears were shed when we had to take her to Producers. Then not too long ago, one of my PB Maine cows got sick. She got skinny, and went downhill quck. My dad knew I wouldn't be able to take her to producers, as she and I had an inseparable bond from our years spent together and our shows we attended. We shared ice cream cones, she loved wafer cookies, and she was always the first one at the gate when I needed to just spend time in the barn. We had her humanely euthanized, and she is buried on the edge of our property near the pasture. I miss her like crazy. Darn...cattle sure are like pets to some of us.
Title: Re: The worse part of the business
Post by: frostback on February 09, 2013, 04:24:40 PM
I had a cow get rolled over in a ditch and die one night. We had just flood irragated and could not get in to remove the body before the scavengers got her. So I have her well preseved skull in my house at the moment but it will be hung in the show barn this summer. I will put the halter she came with up there too. It was her ET calf that I lost. They all have to go one way or another. None of them are easy.
Title: Re: The worse part of the business
Post by: Diamond on February 09, 2013, 05:46:06 PM
its always tough, I have one who's 11 this year that I keep putting off taking to town but her grand dam who's 18 this year is the only one I qualify as a 'pet' and will die/ be put down on the farm. Though to her credit she did have her last calf last year at 17. I find it harder to sell the old lady's versus any of the others...There's something rough about not seeing them out in the field.
Title: Re: The worse part of the business
Post by: leanbeef on February 10, 2013, 07:54:07 AM
I agree...i still miss goin to the pasture and seeing some old faces that grew so familiar over the years. Sometimes I designate the money from a cow like that for a special purchase...something I will have for a long time that I can remember her by. My first cow retired as an old cow years ago, and I used the money from her to buy a show box which we needed at the time. She had more bulls than heifers, and her last heifer which I kept to replace her didn't live up to her legacy, so I don't have any of her genetics left in the herd. But I still miss her.

Another cow that I bought as a two-year-old back in 1990 became the cornerstone of our program today. We have a lot of females that go back to that cow, and they all have a special place because of that connection. We're getting ready to flush two four year olds that I consider two of my favorites, and both go back to that cow. A lot of cows have come and gone, but there are only a few I miss like that after they're gone.

Now horses and dogs are another story! When somebody mentioned old horses, I almost got teary-eyed. I have an old gray Quarter Horse mare that's well into her 30s...she doesn't look her age at all, but I'm dreading the day... She'll die on the farm, and we'll put her down if it comes to that. I hope she just dies in her sleep one night, but that will be a sad, sad day.
Title: Re: The worse part of the business
Post by: cowpoke on February 10, 2013, 10:02:43 AM
We buried Sissy our healer and companion for many years under one of our favorite trees.Every morning she waited for me and one morning she was there but her life had ended.I have judged many shows and have seen people cry because they dont win.I have spoke to some of them and I tell them it is only a show and tears are for something special like a family or a special animal.I have been fortunate to have had a couple good dogs and two special horses that I gave too good homes after their working days were done and even at 70 years old the tears came the same as when a loved one passed on.
Title: Re: The worse part of the business
Post by: renegadelivestock on February 10, 2013, 11:27:53 AM
we had to put down our old girl this past fall. she was 21, and to her credit ,she raised a calf at 18. im sure she would have bred back again, but we retired her, and stopped breeding her. she was and old show cow, and was always the first in for feed, we have a photo of a buddy of mine riding her out in the pasture, she would basicly put the halter on herself. on the horse side, our old guy around here is 31this year, he is a ex-race horse, and raced until he was 14. he still looks and acts like he is 10. but i know he has more days behind him than he does ahead