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Join date : 2009-11-19
Age : 60
Location : SF Bay Area

PostSubject: SPURS N SIX GUNS GLOSSARY: CATTLE TERMS   Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:10 am

Brand & Branding Iron: The tool used to apply a brand. Called "iron" for short.

male un-castrated bovine (cow) Well-bred males are raised to father cattle in a cow herd. Genetics is big business in the cattle industry today.

Calf: baby cow. Usually cattlemen plan for their herds to calve (have their young) in the early spring. The animals are then rounded-up and marked by branding and earmarking to denote ownership.

Corriente: cattle of non-descript breeding usually from Mexico. Often used in the U.S. for recreational-roping cattle.

Critter: often in speaking of cows or horses a cowboy calls them a "Critter." Other animals can also be critters.

Cow: A female bovine. This term is used also as a generic reference to cattle. Cattle were first imported into the New World by the Spanish in 1541. Since then breeds from England, Europe and India have been introduced, trying to create the best producing cattle that make the best use of the available feed on different ranges.

Cut: (Noun) "a cut": a group of cattle separated from the herd for a reason, such as to
sell. (Verb) the act of separating the cattle. (see photo) Also: a process of castrating a male animal.

First cut: the choice pick of the group.
Cut a circle: A cow boss will describe an area such as a portion of a ranch from which you will gather cattle or ride to check on land and animals.</BLOCKQUOTE>

De-horning: In many places, cattlemen remove the horns from horned cattle when they are calves. This makes them easier to handle and less likely to hurt each other. This practice became popular when cows began to be transported more often by truck and rail and needed to be confined in small spaces.
Dewlap: Another method of marking cattle similar to a waddle. A dewlap is formed by cutting a piece of skin so that it will grow into a distinctive hanging mark in a certain location. Used in conjunction with brands and earmarks.
Dogie: (pronounced with a long "o" as in "own," not as in the pet animal named "Spot.") A calf with no mother. Term used more often in Texas. Derived from the Spanish word "dogal" meaning a short rope used to keep a calf away from its mother during milking.

Drive: Method of rounding up cattle by scattering cowboys over the range and pushing the cattle to one place.

Earmark: Method of marking cattle by cropping their ears in distinctive patterns. Usually used along with a brand. The earmark patterns are also registered with the brand. Earmark on the cow at the right is read as an "under half slope on the left ear." (as viewed by the reader) Earmarks can often be seen quicker than a brand (because the cow usually looks at you) and are a good aid in recognition and when sorting cattle.

Another ear mark on the dark calves to the right: swallow fork in the right ear.

Ear Tag: Method of marking cattle (or other animals) by attaching a tag to their ears. Often vaccinations, breeding, and herd identification are information that are recorded using the tag numbers. (Negative side to this is that the tags can pull out and be lost.)

Heifer: young female cow, raised to replace the older cows in a herd or to provide meat.

Horn iron: The old way to help heal the horn base after de-horning was to cauterize the horn stub with a hot iron.

Jerk: A gather of, or trip through, a small piece of country. Term often used in rough country where cattle are hard to gather.

Leppy: An orphaned calf. Sometimes also used referring to a young cowboy who is inept in cowboy ways.

Locoed: horses and cattle become addicted to the eating of Loco weed, thereby causing the victim to become thin; with injury to eyesight, muscular control and brain; causes an abnormal growth of hair on the mane and tail of horses - on cattle an extra increase of hair on flanks.

Long-eared, full-eared: Cattle that have not been earmarked. They have their whole ears.

Mavericks: wild cattle that haven't been branded and never been gathered. Sometimes in remote, rough country the animal has been untouched by the cowboys for quite a while and the older the animal becomes, the more unmanageable it gets.

Rataque: Fence made by laying mesquite logs or sticks between posts.

Re-ride: To ride again, such as to check a pasture or allotment for cattle not gathered the first time.
Also with reference to riding a bronc or bull in a rodeo, if the animal does not buck as should be expected, the rider is given a different horse or bull in the hopes they can score their best.

Rodeo: roundup, today a contested event.

To gather and work cattle out of a herd held by riders, such as in a fence corner where there is no corral.

Roundup: The spring and fall gathering of cattle on the ranges in order to brand and ear-mark the calves, wean, sort for ownership and cut out those wanted for shipment to market.

Shelly Cow: An old cow, usually in poor condition.

Slick: A horse or cow with no brand, earmark, or other identification of ownership.

St. Elmo's Fire: The eerie glow sometimes seen on cattle's long horns during a lightning storm. It is caused by brush like discharges of atmospheric electricity and commonly accompanied by a crackling or fizzing noise. The discharge also appears as a tip of light on the extremities of such pointed objects as church towers or the masts of ships during stormy weather. The light was so named because St. Elmo is the patron saint of Mediterranean sailors, who regard St. Elmo's fire as the visible sign of his guardianship over them.

Steer: castrated male bovine (cow). Steers are raised and fed well to provide meat.

Stray: an animal found strayed away from its owner or from the range where it belongs. Something some people do not understand is that often cattle from several neighboring ranches become mixed up during the season and need to be sorted and sent back to the proper homes. This is the reason proper branding and marking are so important.

Tank: a depression formed for the purpose of holding water, usually natural water such as rain water or intermittent stream water. Used mostly in the southwest.

Waddle: Another method of marking cattle. A waddle is formed by cutting a piece of skin so that it will grow into a distinctive hanging mark in a certain location. Used in conjunction with brands and earmarks. The example shows a neck waddle. Waddles and dewlaps often are more visible than brands in cold weather country where the winter hair obscures the brand, and are useful for quick recognition and sorting.

Watusi: African breed of cattle, dating their ancestry back 6000 years and called the "cattle of kings." Useful today in the United States, not only for their striking appearance, but for low birth-weight calves.

Weedy: Similar to "locoed", but caused by eating too much black sage or other plant instead of a normal diet and causing malnutrition, often effecting an animal's mind and thinking.Works: another term for roundup, used mainly in the southwest. (for example: spring works, fall works)
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