Friday, April 24, 2009

Culling Cows

I have been in the process of picking the cows that need to be culled. To cull means to get rid of them, to sell them for slaughter. I know them individually, I keep the records, I brush their dentures, so I am the natural choice to pull the trigger. But I am not built for this job. This hard job. But I am doing it. Seven cows have already taken a trip down the road, but more will need to go.

This year our area has had a lot less rain. We might even call it a drought. And these conditions mean we have to make some hard decisions. It just doesn't make sense to keep the cows that take more feed, more care. To be profitable means that we need to sell them while they still have some worth.

I have gone to sleep at night seeing their faces in my mind's eye. How crazy. They are just cows, and yet they are cows in my care and that makes them my responsibility. I don't take it lightly.


  1. I'm sorry, Tj. I can only imagine having to cull a cow that I have bonded with. Luckily for me, I don't know any of the cows "personally" at our family cattle ranch.

  2. I'm not really sure of this theory but here it is...People who have to kill animals or choose which to kill should be people who care. It honors the animal and makes sure their deaths are not wasted.

  3. It's important to remember where the food on the table comes from. At our house we don't say Grace, but we thank the animal that gave its life so that our lives may sustain. It's the tough part of the circle of life- that it takes life to sustain life.

    I love eating beef, so thank you for making the hard choices.

  4. Just stopping in to check on you guys and say hi.

  5. I like Kym's take on it and Lodgepole's prayer. It's tough, but it does show respect and honor.

    Do it well TJ as I like hamburger and I might eat a cull some day.



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