Here Is Your Whopper – Yummy

Penned cattle knee deep in shit, others standing on a four foot high mound of shit. Animals are covered in snow with a 20 MPH wind, no shelter and -25F wind chill. I took the picture this afternoon near Ault, Colorado.

Note that there are miles of empty grassland behind the cattle, and no reason to have them penned.

ScreenHunter_107 Mar. 01 16.19

This is why I only buy free-range meat.

About stevengoddard

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41 Responses to Here Is Your Whopper – Yummy

  1. Sparks says:

    My guess would be that the farmer has them penned in because he’s/she’s rounded them up and is in the process of transporting them to shelter, grim as the photo looks, the cattle look healthy.

    If you think I’m wrong you should report their condition.

    • Those cattle are always penned.

      • Sleepalot says:

        It takes 4 miles of cattle-proof fencing to bound a square mile of land – that’s very expensive.
        Grass stops growing when the temperature falls below 5C. Have you actually looked at those “miles of empty grassland”? Is there any grass out there?
        (Note: cattle eat by wrapping thier tongue(s) around the grass and pulling: they need _long_ grass.)
        I’m surprised they’re not in a shed, but if it was too cold for them, they’d be dead, wouldn’t they?

  2. Neil Dunn says:

    My guess as to why the cattle are in the pen is so they can be fed cuz I doubt there is anything to eat out in the wide open spaces. Furthermore, let loose them cows just might get lost and hard to find–at least alive–of course that depends on how much land they have to roam and where the surrounding fences are. At that temperature, I would rather you go round them up. I will be inside and warm.

    • I drive by there about once a month. They are always penned. This is typical in Northern Colorado.

      • Sparks says:

        Really? that’s awful..

      • methylamine says:

        I’m betting there are several reasons, at least one of them an idiotic government regulation (or is that redundant?):
        1) they gain weight faster penned
        2) the EPA/USDA/Dept of Interior/Fish and Wildlife has some ridiculous reason the fields must remain “pristine”

        And I’m with you Steven–I gladly pay twice as much for free-range, grass-fed. It’s high in Omega 3, tastes much better, and I know the animal suffered much less.

  3. Nathan says:

    It’s hard to tell by the picture but since there is a feed bunk I would say they are feeder cattle so they are penned in. I also am a rancher in colorado and since we are calving right now we locked up our entire herd in pens behind a windbreak. We lost 3 calves a couple of weeks ago when it got this cold and can’t lose anymore.

  4. The cattle are on the warmest spot, the manure pile. It generates heat. You are in need of farmer knowledge.

  5. Sparks says:

    What are the animal welfare laws like in Northern Colorado? surly.there has to be basic farming regulations such as adequate shelter for livestock etc…

  6. Ian Drever says:

    If you let them out, they would just come right back to the pen, cause thats where the food is. The farmer should have a windbreak, it would save him money in the long run, you have to feed way more in cold windy conditions. Cattle (mature) don’t have a problem with the cold as long as they have plenty of feed, water and other cattle. My family ranches in Northern Alberta, Colorado is a tropical paradise.

  7. Pathway says:

    Looks like a Micky Dee’s to me.

  8. Sparks says:

    A quick search


    (4) “Neglect” means failure to provide food, water, protection from the elements, or other care generally considered to be normal, usual, and accepted for an animal’s health and well-being consistent with the species, breed, and type of animal.

  9. Bob Greene says:

    When I worked at a slaughterhouse, cattle from areas with heavy snow had manure in their hides. Decreased the hide value. The other seasons hides were manure free.

  10. slimething says:

    Unless it can be shown they aren’t being fed or watered, good luck trying to get a conviction for animal cruelty having cattle in pens even with manure piles. There is a threshold for when livestock become too cold and should be brought inside, however I would recommend becoming a rancher/farmer for a few generations before making judgements.

    If they were too cold, they’d be huddled together. Our horses will stand in the middle of the pasture during the worst weather conditions with their backs against the wind for long periods. They are free to seek shelter and do at their leisure. For older less healthy horses, we blanket them throughout the winter months and bring them in during bad weather.

    Just because some think it is cruel to pen cattle doesn’t make it so. I just hope those that do never have any power to make policy decisions regarding livestock. When my wife was on the humane society board of directors in our county, I went to one of the meetings. The animal rights nuts showed up making arguments about how livestock should be protected from the elements, including for horses which we own. A vet on the board became a bit annoyed and basically told the do-gooders they didn’t know their ass from a hole in the ground. Farmers and ranchers know when their livestock (and livelihood) need to be brought in from the elements.

    Bringing them in and out all the time is what will make them sick.

    • There Is No Substitute for Victory. says:

      Only an Animal Rights idiot would want you to confine your dogs but let you cows run wild. Just goes to show how much smarts some of those posting here has. In parts of Russia cattle live inside a warm shed all winter, just like you advocate, only the shed’s heated by up to 5 feet of fresh decomposing manure, all tramped down and amended by warm urine, through which the cattle must wade for up to 8 months of the year. In the Summer this manure (which is now dry) is removed and used for next winters’ heating and cooking fuel. I find you statements hilarious, none of you decant mama’s boys could live, little less sire children in the real world that’s lurking right outside your window.

  11. Eric Simpson says:

    That looks truly tame compared to what I’ve seen in Kansas, and California, and I’m sure elsewhere. You have cattle that might have been free range at some point, but they are sold to these feedlots that fatten them up before sale. You drive by and there are thousands of cattle crammed in to just acres. All earmarked. The stench is unbearable. It’s not “neglect” or anything like that. They are being fed like kings night and day, mostly that corn meal molasses stuff I think. Cattle are treated like… cattle. Regardless, we got to have our whoppers. So it is what it is.

    • Sparks says:

      Cattle destined for fast food chains are advertised as being raised in humane conditions.

      • Eric Simpson says:

        I’m not sure why fast food cattle would get special treatment, but a picture is worth a lot of words, and here’s a thousand pictures on cattle feedlot:

        From wikipedia: “A feedlot or feed yard is a type of animal feeding operation (AFO) which is used in factory farming for finishing livestock.. Large beef feedlots are called concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in the United States[1] and intensive livestock operations (ILOs)[2] or confined feeding operations (CFOs) [3] in Canada. They may contain thousands of animals in an array of pens. Most feedlots require some type of governmental permit and must have plans in place to deal with the large amount of waste that is generated.”

        But who knows if they suffer. They’re cows, not Einsteins. Mostly cows just want to eat, it seems. Still, when you approach and interact with them, for most cows it oddly seems like something is there, under the noggin, like a pet would seem, kind of. (Unlike most wild animals that quickly scurry away from humans and don’t make any significant connection with us.) By the way, I’m not protesting the treatment of cows. Because we have to eat. But if you want to go with grass fed, from whole foods or wherever, you aren’t getting a feedlot cow.

        • Sparks says:

          Yes I know… I think we’re on the same page. My point is, and I’m sure you agree, they’re not just cows, they’re domesticated animals, their quality of life depends on people, People should have some sense and pride in owning and raising cattle, if they do not, I believe they have no business being anywhere near a farm.

        • Eric Simpson says:

          Great point, Sparks. We are on the same page.

        • There Is No Substitute for Victory. says:

          I know who has no business anywhere near a farm… and it’s not the owners of those cows in Steve’s picture. Out of one side of their mouth the Animal crazies advocate for free-range everything but then gripe & b**** when they see the reality of free range. Yes these cows are not free range, they get all that they can eat and plenty of good clean water everyday.

          Why don’t some of you people go free ranging in Colorado for a few years then come back here and tell us how you liked it. I can arrange free one way bus fare. You won’t be needing a two way ticket. The pine box is on me. Reggie needs of a new NWP fiasco to report on, his Polar blow hard blowtorch has fizzled out, besides,this one will be right here at home.

  12. Steve Case says:

    Free-range meat is right in there with organically grown beans.

  13. The feedlot doesn’t own the range-land behind, so they can’t just run the cattle on the land. Also, it’s probably not the same kine from month to month.

  14. There Is No Substitute for Victory. says:

    There is no such thing as free range beef not in this country or any other of which I am aware. Any cow that is released to wonder alone in those conditions would drift in front of the wind until she or he came to a nice wind break like a gully, wash or arroyo. There the poor bovine would become trapped in the drifted show and not be able to move. After spring thaw you’ll find its bleached bones and tattered hide, that is your free range beef. Eat up, Bon Apatite. Sorry Steve.

  15. T DANIELS says:

    We live close to Lake Ontario, lake effect country, We raised beef and had a couple of horses. They had plenty of pasture, in fact I split the pasture into 5 sections and rotated the cattle after two weeks, they always had new growth to eat. Their manure was fertilizer (after I dragged a set of bed springs around to break up and scatter the “cow flops) Grass fed beef has a different flavor (not as much fat). In the winter I let them out all day and put round bales in a feeder. Once in a while I would break the ice in the pond (had to be below zero, the water flowed though at a fast rate). The cattle would stay out even if I left the door open to the barn. They would come in at night, because i would give them a quart of feed, and some square bale hay to eat. When they would come in after a snow storm, there would be snow on their backs and it took awhile for it to melt off. They had good insulation, all except the one milk cow, yes, my babies, my wife and I had raw milk, to drink and to cook with. Any way, the milk cow stayed out like the rest, her choice. Maybe it was the fact that she had a very nice set of horns and was the leader of that pack, bulls be damned. Of course the bulls were “fixed”. Any way, free range, I prefer controlled range, It takes more work, but I believe the results are better. I did selective breed the cows, for cold winters, and ease of calving, and growth. They were in the range of 1200-1600 lbs. when they were butchered, no feed pens. No, they weren’t Herefords or Angus, I raised some of those, but, I really liked what we bred, for all around, They had plenty of milk (I hate milk replacers) for their calves, who grew very rapidly. Oh, the horses, yeah they stayed out too, damn, I hated it when
    they shed in spring.

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