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What Makes a Really, Really Good Cow?

By   /  June 8, 2020  /  4 Comments

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The best cow I ever bought was a real beauty. Her name was Miss Unaweep Rafter 145, and she came wit
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About the author

John Marble grew up on a terribly conventional ranch with a large family where each kid had their own tractor. Surviving that, he now owns a small grazing and marketing operation that focuses on producing value through managed grazing. He oversees a diverse ranching operation, renting and owning cattle and grasslands while managing timber, wildlife habitat and human relationships. His multi-species approach includes meat goats, pointing dogs and barn cats. He has a life-long interest in ecology, trying to understand how plants, animals, soils and humans fit together. John spends his late-night hours working on fiction, writing about worlds much less strange than this one.

4 Comments

  1. Will Kearney says:

    I heartily agree with this article. After reading temple grandin and others, I have come to believe what is missing from the replacement market is artificial selection that mimics natural selection. We should be saving the cows that perform best under tough conditions, and quit doctoring over genetic problems. We should cull like lions.

  2. Rob Havard says:

    Pretty simple – a marketable calf every year without fail within 2 cycles.

    • John Marble says:

      Hi Rob.

      I guess you might be right: pretty simple. But apparently, not very easy. I think people get all balled up because if they actually cull those bad cows, then they’ll have to keep more heifers, and if they keep more heifers, they’ll have to have more bulls and then and then and then…

      Mostly, people have to want to make progress.

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