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Friday, June 29, 2012

Goodbye to the Angus Boys

The remaining three Angus steers went off to the processor yesterday and though only the red steer had a name, Sir Loin, and the other two had number tags attached to their ears, I have learned that when we raise meat up close and personal, knowing them as individuals just can't be helped. And then it's sad to see them go.

Sir Loin, a Red Angus/Brown Swiss cross was the wild one. He wanted little to do with us and usually would hang back when we fed hay this past winter, letting the two Black Angus fellows rush up to the cafeteria window first.

Numbers 30 and 27 were the sweeties, taking treats from our hands, even allowing a little nose scratching in the winter. Once the grass started growing, though, forget it! All I'd get would be a galoopy, black-tongued lick on the hand once in a while. Then it was back to grazing in the grass. I could dig it.

Yesterday they moved into their temporary corral with little fanfare, loaded right into the trailer, and then they were gone. Mike, one of the guys driving The Boys to their end, said to me later that I looked sad as I told them goodbye and thank you. Yes, I was sad.

All I know is The Nickel and Dime Ranch was an excellent home, pasture and hay for their entire lives and the freedom to meander wherever their hooves took them on the ranch's 100 acres.

There would be no feedlot destination for these guys, fed corn and corn only.

There would be no manure dust kicked up by thousands of cows to infect their eyes.

There would be no foul, stinking air or open sewers.

Yes, they would have had more fat marbling after a stay at the feedlot, but at what cost? Is that any way to treat someone you know?

The processor was small, slaughtering (I hate that word, but that's what happens) about 6 animals a day, so there was less stress for the animals and for the folks doing the work than at a large corporate conveyer belt kind of place.

The small natural foods grocers and restaurants who will buy the beef will be happy to know where the Angus Boys came from and that the rancher raised them with respect and care.

We will miss watching our steers resting in the grass, satisfied, as the light changes in the New Mexico afternoon.

 Angus Boys, thank you, and goodbye.


  1. I cannot handle this.....Maybe you are brave and strong and true..I do not know. I just know I cannot do it. But I sure do love rib eye...sad is the right word

  2. It's sad for me too and I only knew them from your blog. I could not do it and am wondering if you plan on doing it again.

  3. Job well done Auntie. If we all were this close to our means of sustenance, I'm sure we would live in a much less wasteful and more compassionate world. Thanks for sharing your experience with the rest of us.


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