Posted by: chlost | October 21, 2012


For the past two days, my house has been inundated with cows. And cowboys.

You may recall that we are the proud owners of five cows. One is a Hereford, the other four are Angus.

Herefords are such sweet cows, and very cute!

Because I am still recovering from surgery, this year I was not up to a long car trip to Oklahoma to buy cows. Merle was disappointed, but determined. The ranch where he bought his beloved “Star” was having a final sale this year. They are going out of business, so all of their stock, equipment, and interest in the cattle business was up for auction. He HAD to be there! Last year he bought several embryos from which we expect calves next spring. In fact, he had the Hereford (red and white cows) embryos implanted in Angus (pure black cows) moms. This could prove to be interesting.

This year, he wants to expand the herd even more. He loves cows. The more cows the better. But the cows at this sale are expensive. Many of the best sell for over $100,000.00. That is not an exaggeration, I assure you. The only way he can have the cows he loves with the money we have is to buy more embryos.

But I couldn’t go to the sale, and he was not comfortable leaving me behind to go to the sale by himself. Besides, he wouldn’t have had as much fun all alone! So—–

Yay for the internet!

The entire two-day cow auction was live on not one, but two internet sites. This included the auctioneers and their “let’s sell a cow” routine and video of each cow. Merle took a vacation day in order to be able to follow the auction and make a bid. And thank goodness he did, because he followed every cow/embryo/bull on the sale list, keeping track of the prices as the sale progressed toward the items he wanted. Those items were up for bid at approximately 6:30 pm. Imagine if he had to be at work all day!

This lasted for two days. At one point, Merle was using both the PC and my laptop….one to be able to hear the auctioneer and the other to be able to bid on the things he wanted because for some reason, the video and audio had a time lag of approximately 10 seconds. I know that I should have taken a photo, but it would have distracted him and he might not have been able to make the bids successfully. I don’t know that our marriage would have survived that.

In any event, we are finally quiet around here today-it is just the football game. No cows, no auctioneers.

But we are now the owners of 6 new purebred Hereford cow embryos.

Life just doesn’t get better than this.



  1. I have a patient who raises bucking bulls, so he is always talking about buying straws of semen from various bulls, all of whom he knows by name, and then picking which cow he wants to use for which straw and calculating what characteristics he hopes to get. There seems to be a lot of heartache involved in the enterprise!

    • Oh yes, it is a science to match the right genetics. We have a tank filled with straws of frozen semen and embryos in our garage. Takes the romance out of it for the cows, I suppose.

  2. Herefords are such pretty cattle – especially the calves. I love their sort of swilrly/curly hair. I once told a salon owner I wanted that color for my hair (fortunately, she talked me out of it, I was more an auburn/chestnur kind of a gal before I turned prematurely white.)

    • The calves are very sweet. I am trying to picture that red on a person. Very eye-catching!

  3. Hereford cattle do have beautiful faces… and I think good dispositions. Is the Hereford in the photo one of yours? I had to work with an Angus when I was studying Animal Science. I named him, “Trouble” and he certainly lived up to his name.

  4. I lover herefords, I don’t care what the Angus folks say.

    • Merle agrees, although he also has purebred Angus.

  5. Reminds me of my grandfather pouring through the stock magazines, picking out semen for his Hereford ladies on Bell Horn Ranch in Tamarack MN. I agree this red and white breed is the prettiest. Tell Merle I said “congratulations.”

    • Your grandfather and Merle would get along very well. He spends hours going through cattle magazines and sale catalogs, has all of the statistics of each animal in his head, and then matches up the right bull to cow. He does all of the artificial insemination. He loves this stuff.

  6. And to think I’ve been wasting so much time watching TV when cow auctions could be found online.

    • Oh, if only television were so entertaining!

  7. There are times when I think my mind is “blow-proof”–as in, it’s taken in enough in its time that it can no longer be blown.

    Then I read about online cattle auctions.

    And I realize there are still uncharted waters on Planet Mind Blow.

    So cool.

    • The key to life, as I have found out, you never ask “What’s next?” because you will certainly find out….and sometimes it will blow your mind. In this case, it was in an okay way.

  8. I had no idea that cow auctions were held online. I’m glad he won some bids. I hope it works out well for you 🙂

    • I suppose almost everything is going to be online soon. I shudder to think….

  9. I never heard of online cow auctions, though I have seen online horse auctions, though they were not as sophisticated as the one you described. Anyhow, Hooray for Merle and his embryos! I hope they all survive and you get to tell us calf stories!

    • This was quite the sale. a four million dollar gross.

  10. Are you finding hay in short supply? It is expensive this year!

    • The place where the cows are boarded has hay, but not great quality. It will get them through the winter.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: