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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A guy up the road bought his ground about 10 years ago. My DH rents the crop acres and the guy runs cattle on the pastures. The guy is good natured and has good intentions. He loves rural life and can’t move because his wife hates the country and refuses to move out of their Mcmansion.

The problem is his cattle. The guy is more ambitious than his pasture can support. His naïve nature and limited skills leaves his livestock in less than stellar shape. Last year he overgrazed and I actually found one belly and legs up in the air if you know what I mean. The man is a bit stubborn and hard to contact via phone which makes neighborly advice like talking to a wall. He is a business owner and isn’t the type to accept suggestions, he is more of a “my way” type.

He sold out some of his cattle which seriously improved things. Last year we had at least 3 escapees eating our wheat a week. This year…none. Were not angry it’s just frustrating to watch. This man comes on weekends to move bales of hay into his feeders. The cows ran out goodness knows when this week. DH had some farm stuff to and I ended up at the property. The cows all ran over like they were calves and were mooing up a storm. They are usually very timid. It was obvious their hay feeder was empty and they were begging. DH said they were like that yesterday. I became upset over this and he said the man will be out over the weekend. I told DH to call him. DH said that this is common for this guy and since he isn’t here to see it he doesn’t stress over it. The guy always says “I’ll do it over the weekend”. He assumes that they have something to graze. He sees a light green haze over his dirt lot and doesn’t understand that those cows have it nibbled as low as they can go. Green haze does not equal anything to eat. What appears to be grass is the tiniest of shoots.

There isn’t much I can do. Any agency wouldn’t touch it in this area, people stay hands off. The cattle are not starving to death, they’re just very hungry. The guy doesn’t seem to worry and it makes me crazy. Sure, he may see a loss in profits but in the end it has no real impact on HIM. He isn’t out here looking at their desperate faces. Anyone who knows cattle knows that they pretty much ignore you if they are well fed. It isn’t our job to feed them but if I thought it would help I would. The fact remains that when we get busy with our own lives those poor cows will still be hungry down the road when no one is looking. I can’t be up there checking them all the time. In fact, he has a hired hand who isn’t allowed to use the tractor to move bales. *sigh*

Some people just don’t belong in the livestock business.
 

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...Last year he overgrazed and I actually found one belly and legs up in the air if you know what I mean....
The cattle are not starving to death, they’re just very hungry.
I think I'd be calling a local (or the nearest) agency. Your first statement seems to contradict the second. If cattle are starving to death due to lack of feed because he's not there and won't hire someone to take feed out to them when he's not there, especially if this is due to ignorance on his part about grazing levels, then someone needs to talk to him.

Do you have a local stockman's association? Perhaps a word with one of them (preferably one you already know) would help. Cattlemen -- the real deal guys, not the weekend farmers -- tend to be picky about who they sell their stock to. If this guy is breeding, there isn't much they can do, but if he's buying cow-calf pairs and raising them for slaughter, it's likely that once word gets around that he's starving his herd, he'll find stock isn't available to buy.

Also, keep in mind that some cattle will approach when they see something that looks like the "source of feed" truck, regardless of whether they're truly hungry or not. Cattle like to eat, that's why they make great stock animals -- they eat, they grow, we eat them. They WILL eat a great deal more than they "need". Of course, if you're looking for heavily marbled meat, that's great -- but you don't say if he's just feeding them hay as a grazing supplement, or grain, too. Being a "weekend farmer", he may also have trained them to come to him for "treats" or "extras" if he's treating them as pets.

We're not able to see what you see, so only you can tell what condition these cattle are in, and what to do about it.
 

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This would frustrate me to no end!

He should let his hired hand bring them more bales when they need it. I would probably talk to him, if it were me.
 

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He could leave some wrapped bales in the pasture for you and you could cut the plastic off when you see they do not have feed? I'm sure you don't want to be "working" for him unpaid. maybe he would exchange your labor for a bit of reduced cost for your pasture rental?
 

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I guess I don't understand people who marry but don't share their life vision.

We are split between our ranch and the house in the burbs right now, but our ranch critters are fed and happy. We are trying to sell the house in the burbs.

DH's job has already been transferred closer to the ranch so he can run up to the ranch at night and feed the beasties, spend the night (I leave meals for him int he fridge) and go back to work in the am. If he isn't up to it, I run up there and feed them, as I did yesterday. We will be at the ranch full time as soon as we can sell the other house, and it is a dream we both have shared and worked and sacrificed for.

If I had it to do over, I wouldn't have bought the critters until we were there full time, but DH insisted. Cruelty to animals is never the solution, so we make sure our babies are fed, always. With winter approaching they will need even more feed to keep warm.

I would approach him to see about having him either pay you and hubby or decrease the rent to have you feed them. I would make it clear that their feed is gone by (whatever day of the week it is gone) and they spend the rest of the week starving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Everyone in the area knew he overgrazed last year and kept telling him as politely as possible. Plus all the escapes should have been a clue.

The one that died was after he sold off some so I thought he was in the process of fixing things and she was just in poor condition. I didn't know how bad it was until he was already making his sort of tries to fix it. He actually over bought hay this year which was funny to me. He was trying to do the right thing but just sort of fell short.

I would love to help or give my son a job, maybe a discount for a calf for 4H. This guy is gung ho and wants to do it all but doesn't make a fair judge of what that all involves.


I go up there enough to know how his herd acts (once a month or so). They were acting strange. His cattle are not bucket trained and not even a bit tame for car or people. Them running to the corner en mass to see me was very out of the ordinary.

I am an animal lover so it really upsets me. I would love to just "play" with them for fun but it just isn't my place. He won't admit he needs help. Ignorant and prideful.... As hungry and ill kept as they are I could have them eating out of hand and pet tame in days. I've always loved the moo moos.
 
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