Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Burning and Important Question

My Hubby and I were travelling this week, going through beautiful rolling California countryside. 

We pass acres and acres of pastureland, usually inhabited by cattle. 

Cows of every shape and color. 

As we rolled past, my hubby, a non-cowboy, asked me questions about cows. 
Such as, 

 "What are they all doing out there?"

" How come they all face the same way"

"Will they fight off a coyote or a dog?'

"Why can't you ride them?"

" Do only bulls have horns?"

" Will bulls really try to hurt you?" 

...and of course,

" What kind of cow is that?" 

Here are a few of the kinds we saw~

(And I know that some of these pictures are not cows- but bulls) 

Black Angus

Belted Galloway 
I always called them CHP cows 'cuz they look like a California Highway Patrol car! 




Polled Hereford

This particular breed is very popular in the region we were passing through- it is Dairy country!

He recognized this breed from the "City Slickers" movie.


Red Angus

Texas Longhorn



This is a Simmental too- isn't he purty!

Here are a few we didn't see- but they are so darn cute I had to add them...

Miniature Belted Galloway's. They come in three colors!

I saw one of these up close and in person at the Grand National Livestock Show about ten years ago. The size and scope of these horns are awesome to behold!

Doesn't looking at this just give you a headache?


And Now....

The Burning and Important Question....

Drum Roll Please.....

What breed of cow is this?

If anyone has a PROPER name for this breed,
I'd sure like to know...

I've NEVER heard anybody call them anything but

Black White Faced Cows. 

Seems like a real long moniker for the most common type of cow in the pasture, doesn't it? 


Reddunappy said...

Thats all I have ever heard them called too, Black baldies, white face. Probably the most common meat producers I would think. I would say usually a cross between Hereford and
Angus in the lineage.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Black Baldies aren't a breed. They are typically an F1 or F2 cross between a Black Angus and a Hereford. Hybrid vigor and all that for commercial production.

Herefords were long the favorite momma cow for most ranchers in cooler climates, however due to a lot of inbreeding, they developed a problem with dwarfism...Not to mention that they are prone to cancer eye, hoof rot and mastitis of the bag, due to their pink skin. Calves are prone to pink-eye as well.

The Black Angus was introduced to combat the ever smaller size of the pure Hereford, improve meat production/quality and lessen the problems associated with the Hereford breed. The Baldie cows have better milk production, had better calving ease and raised a bigger bodied, more desirable calf because they could be bred to bigger breed bulls and they retained the more gentle nature of the Hereford cow. Pure Black Angus cattle are not always as gentle and easy to work with as the Herefords.

Lisa said...

I am just gobsmacked at the horns on that cow laying down!! What what?!?!

C-ingspots said...

Yep, we always call them black baldies too. I think they're a cross between a black angus and a hereford. They like the breed for places that have lots of snow because they have black udders and they don't get sunburned from the reflection off the snow. Wow, cow trivia!! LOL You know your cows lady!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Impressive array of cattle you've got in your area. I love those Galloway's. They remind me of Oreo cookies. Yum!
They also remind me of those black and white pigs that have the same markings. Would be funny if a farm raised both.

It's interesting to me how common the Hereford's used to be and were the main steak restaurant cattle, but they seem to be virtually worthless now, except as the poor man's hamburger, and have been replaced by the Black Angus.

Yikes that poor "Rocket Horn" cow looks like he might have a problem standing up. Is there any room in his head for a brain? And I agree. It makes my head hurt just seeing him.

I love the eyes on a Jersey cow. Some dear homesteader friends raise a couple Jerseys providing milk for their own family and to share in a co-op. Those girls have very gentle personalities.

That Limousine bull just demands respect. Wow!
I've always admired the Longhorns. They are common here in New Mexico and we see them at the State Fair every year. They just scream "Western" to me.

Your husband sounds cool. I'm always thinking about the things I see while out and about and wondering. I like it when people are inquisitive and don't always act like know-it-alls.


Maia said...

Well it sure does look like a cow to me. Ha Ha. With all of these great informative comments, someone has to be silly.

Chelsi said...

We call the belted galloways oreo cookie cows:) And those are black baldies here too... the hereford/angus cross. Leave it to BECG to have such an educated answer! lol

My good friend breeds Herefords so I'm partial to them... her cows are just gorgeous, all big and fat and russet red. But I've always wanted a Jersey... how could you not with a face like that!?!

I think Lisa said it best with her gobsmacked! over that cow with the horns... OMG it pains me just to look at him!

Rising Rainbow said...

I've never even seen some of these breeds so no fountain of knowledge here.LOL sounds like BECG probably has it covered. Makes sense to me but then I didn't know that herfords had fallen from grace. Is that true?

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

As a commercial cow, the Hereford is not capable of producing the same calf as the baldie or many other breeds. But it's poweress as a cross to other breeds will ensure that it never entirely loses favor MiKael.

There are still purebred Hereford breeders and these past few years, Hereford bulls have been brought back to re-strengthen the Hereford traits in some of the commercial baldies. Over the years people had gone strictly 'black', because that is what the feedlot buyers prefer, but the cows have been getting bigger again and losing some of the great qualities of the hybrid cross. Commercial breeders who want to reduce the size of replacement heifers are breeding back to Herefords.

Economically, commercial cattle breeders want to raise the biggest, heaviest calves possible. However, in a commercial production program, bigger cows often eat up any additional profits the calves they raise produce. A nice, 900 lb. baldie cow eats far less than the larger cows and when bred to larger breed bulls can easily produce a 500 lb (+) weaner calf. Especially when bred to some of the big Angus bulls available now, or my particular favorite, the Gelbvieh. Straight Herefords rarely ever produce a calf of that size...more along the 400 lb. weaning weight and they do not bring the same price as the same size black or baldie calve will, so it's a bit of a double loss for the commercial producer.