The Cow Obesity Epidemic

I’m beginning to think that there’s an obesity epidemic among the cattle here in Minnesota.

I’ve spent some time at the local salebarn trying to buy some calves, and I’m always amused at the cattle that get the best reception by the auctioneer and the bidders.  The cattle that earn praise (and high bids) are almost always obese.  The auctioneer will opine, briefly, (he’s an auctioneer after all) about what good-looking cattle they are.  They’re “good heavy cows” that have been “fed hard” by a local farmer of high-esteem, or “reputation kind.”

The problem is that, if you apply any sort of objective measurement by any reputable authority the “choice” cattle around here are too fat.

Take for example this Holstein steer.


I can just make out the pin bone beneath the tail, the hook bones are completely invisible.  That’s really saying something for a dairy cow, as they have very prominent hook bones.

I’d put him at a solid BCS-7 if not 8.


The beef cattle, Angus in particular, were even worse, with most qualifying as a BCS-8.  The Angus were pretty flighty, not wanting to stand still to have their pictures taken, so here’s the best I have.


Aside from all the running around, it looks an awful lot like this:


Too fat.
Is it any wonder that local butchers get complaints about their beef being too fat?

too fat shortribs

Compare that to our cattle, which we typically butcher at a BCS-5


And let’s not even talk temperament.  I saw an Angus bull (as well as a few Angus steers and heifers) try to charge everyone in sight today.



1 Comment

  1. As to the crabby fat angus, It’s my experience that fat people are crabby too.

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