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What do ranchers raise?

27 May 03 - 12:22 PM (#959829)
Subject: What do ranchers raise?
From: The O'Meara

I love western and "cowboy" music and I've lived in "Cowboy Country", (Texas, Wyoming, Colorado)for a good part of my life, and there is a question that has bothered me for many years: what are those things that ranchers raise and sell? I've asked some friends who are ranchers and they generaly answer "cows." But "cow" and "bull" refer to the sex of the animal, like cow and bull elephants, cow and bull elk, etc. Ranchers raise cow and bull...cows? There ain't no such thing as a bull cow. (OK,maybe in San Francisco it's different. But I mean the animals.)
    "Bovine" means "cowlike" so a cow bovine means a cowlike cow and a bull bovine means (see reference to S.F. above.) "Hereford" and "Charolias" and "Angus" refer to breeds of whatever they are. "Cattle" means a whole buch of...what? Cats?
    Well?

O'Meara


27 May 03 - 12:24 PM (#959830)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: The O'Meara

Sorry, this is a non-music thread, but I don't know how to get it there.

O'Meara


27 May 03 - 12:27 PM (#959831)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: MMario

just goes to show you that the English language is a strange beasty.

"cows" in this case is used to mean "steers";

many people (correctly or not) use "Cow" as the generic for milk or beef cattle. I've seen "ox" or "oxen" used the same way - though most people would tell you that those terms should be reserved for draft breeds.


27 May 03 - 12:57 PM (#959842)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: Alice

Cattle ranchers raise cattle. (steers for the beef market)


27 May 03 - 01:09 PM (#959850)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: Uncle_DaveO

Try "kine". Not used any more, at least in the US, but it was the sort of general term I think you're seeking.

Dave Oesterreich


27 May 03 - 01:31 PM (#959867)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: GUEST,Q

Here in Alberta ranching country, cattle is the word most used (sometimes with expletive). Male calves are castrated in beef production and become steers. 'Cows' means the females, but often is applied by the general public.


27 May 03 - 01:43 PM (#959872)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: Joe Offer

Her's what my dictionary says:
cattle noun plural: domestigated quadrupeds held as property or raised for use; specifically: bovine animals on a farm or ranch.
The word is derived from capitale, a form of the Latin word for "head."

But ranchers raise cattle. If you go to Crawford, Texas, and start talking about kine, you're likely to be held under the USA Patriot Act. If you're talking about just one head of cattle, you specify gender and whether it possesses the appropriate plumbing for that gender...

-Joe Offer, from Wisconsin, where they have only cows-


27 May 03 - 02:05 PM (#959885)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: GUEST,Q

'Da kine' is heard only in Hawai'i. It has its own meaning.


27 May 03 - 02:11 PM (#959888)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: katlaughing

My dad and his folks always raised cattle, but they punched cows and he sings "cow" songs. Go figure, eh? **bg**


27 May 03 - 07:25 PM (#960093)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: Ely

My neighbors raise "cattle" on their land near Corsicana but worry about their "cows", referring mostly to the herd of female Brangus that produce new crops of little "cattle" each year. The little ones end up being "steers" if they're male. I've never heard anyone use "oxen" but most of the people I know who have draft animals have mules.

A high-school classmate of mine once asked in biology class what the difference was between a cow and a bull. I'm assuming he was thinking of "cow" in a general sense, but we all teased him about it for the rest of the semester.


27 May 03 - 07:37 PM (#960099)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: Gareth

Hmmm !

" In Duffyn's richest valley, herds of Kine were browsing,
We made a mighty sally, to furnish our carousing"


Now thats 3 old words in two lines ! But I suspect the translation from the 'tongue of heaven' might be responsible.

Remember

Saxon "Sheep" = Norman "Mutton"
Saxon "Ox" or "Kine" = Norman "Beef"

ie the peasents raised them, and the overlords ate them.

Thank the Lord for Offa's Dyke ( and no this is not a comment on sexual proclivities.)

Gareth - to the West of the Dyke.


27 May 03 - 08:20 PM (#960120)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: Burke

Don't some ranchers raise sheep?


27 May 03 - 08:30 PM (#960123)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: MMario

herders. *grin*

Ranchers raise cattle or horses. Herders raise sheep. sqatters raise vegetables.


27 May 03 - 08:32 PM (#960124)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: SINSULL

There are llama ranches and ostrich ranches as well...but don't tell Kendall.


27 May 03 - 08:40 PM (#960125)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: GUEST,Q

Yep, cows, from the very ancient Indo-European word, still persists with many of us when the current word we are supposed to use is cattle. Written or pronounced Ku in some of the old languages (the pronunciation still persists in parts of England). Just when and how it came to refer to mature females only, as Webster's says, I don't know.

The Cattle Associations here insist on cattle and no one dares say cow at their meetings, but anywhere else cow is heard frequently. My first post expressed the 'party line.'

The word cattle comes from the Norman catel, a perversion of Latin (capitale).

Gareth, I have never eaten oxen (acc. to the OED, the only word in general English which retains the original plural is oxen). Kine (or kye) is the old, largely discarded plural of cow, but maybe the words are used differently on the wrong side of the dyke.


27 May 03 - 08:52 PM (#960130)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: Rapparee

What about dude ranches? And fat farms?


27 May 03 - 09:03 PM (#960139)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: GUEST,Q

Elk and buffalo ranches are big now. Near Cimmaron, NM, saw a herd of some 2500 buffalo on one ranch- quite a sight! Stopped and commiserated with a bull leaning on the fence- he seemed tuckered out.
In Alberta, elk are raised for the velvet on their horns and other parts which are sold to Asia. Elk venison is also produced and is in the grocery stores now, along with the buffalo. Venison, another of those imposed Norman words.


27 May 03 - 09:11 PM (#960148)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: Rapparee

Some folks are raising ostriches, too.


27 May 03 - 09:25 PM (#960153)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: JohnInKansas

A rancher, in the sense that seems to be sought here, is a cattleman, and raises cattle.

The guys (mostly) he hires to take care of his herd are cowboys, and they herd cattle but they rope cows.

The distinction is in the implication of ownership, where "cattle" derives from an old word (catel) related to personal property or capital wealth. If speaking of the herd as the property of the cattleman he's working for, most cowboys would refer to cattle; but if speaking of individual animals or small groups of them, they're just cows. As used by working cowboys, it is an informal appelation that carries NO meaning of gender.

There are specific names that are used when gender or other "characteristics" of a specific "cow" is intended. Heifers, steers, bulls, dogies, etc; but the usage - for at least the last century in cattle country - has been that a cow is any bovine with horns (even if cropped) and a contrary nature.

While there is nothing disparaging or derogatory about herding cows, most old-line cowboys would be offended if you said they raise cows. You raise cattle, and you herd cows. One who "raises cows" is a "A@%#$ farmer" - who probably milks the $#%@! things everyday. It's said with a different inflection, and "it ain't friendly." Or wasn't until the rancher's kids went off to college and got "polited up" recently.

The term "kine" is so archaic that, while most cattlemen probably saw it in a schoolbook, it is never heard. It should be noted that it is a plural and there's no singular still found even in schoolbooks brought in from "back East."

"Ox" and "Oxen" refer specifically to draft animals. They usually refer to animals bred specifically for draft use, but can be used to refer to any animal so used. Cowboys usually know what they are, but they're ain't any around in most parts where you'll find working cowboys - at least since the covered wagons got unhitched (and the farmers who raise cows got tractors).

Cowboys have a number of other "slang" uses for the word "cow," but they are all derogatory and mostly offensive.

John


27 May 03 - 10:23 PM (#960179)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: katlaughing

Well said, John!


27 May 03 - 11:23 PM (#960204)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: GUEST,Q

John, 'cattleman' here in western Canada includes the guy who made his money in construction, computers, motels, etc., who buys a ranch which is run by a hired resident manager (sometimes referred to as a cowman). The 'spread' (seldom more than a couple of sections with attached grazing rights in the adjacent forest 'reserve') is stocked with part beef cattle and a few pricy purebreds. He builds a big wickiup on the windiest hill on his property (but which is above all his neighbors). He has a few good horses, but might ask the hands to use all-terrain vehicles rather than horses (contributing to line-ups at emergency wards and the disturbance of nesting animals).
Once a year he hosts a branding, worked by his cowman and hands and cowboys from nearby ranches, experienced ropers and branders, who are invited to the do. At the branding, guests are invited to assist by holding down calves, injecting vaccines, applying germ-killer (yes, the calves acquire ear tags at the same time) or just getting in the way.
When the branding is done, everyone fills up on food and those still sober get drunk. Tables are set up with food and liquor on the porch (veranda) and everyone gets tanked. Guests retire with their plates to the house, but the cowmen eat and drink outside.
The manager generally stays sober- for obvious reasons.

OK, there are still cattle ranches here, some up to 40 sections or more (the owners usually refer to themselves as ranchers, perhaps a difference from the States), but the only time you hear about them is when some calamity befalls.

Which reminds me, is the term 'ranche' (singular) used anywhere in the States? English expatriates or remittance men who went into cattle here many years ago sometimes spelled it that way.


27 May 03 - 11:43 PM (#960211)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: GUEST,Q

Forgot to mention- these new age Canadian 'cattlemen' lose money on their cattle, taking a loss which is charged off on their taxes against the profits of their real business. I imagine that this dodge is also worked in the States- I am out of touch with current US tax practices, not having lived there for quite a time.


28 May 03 - 12:09 AM (#960223)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: JohnInKansas

Q

Your description is consistent with the "traditional" usage where "cattleman" is reserved for the owner of the herd (of cattle), even if he did "buy into" the culture. Note that the "Cattleman's Associations" (and in some places the "Cattlemen's Club(s)") weren't places where the cowboys, or other "hired hands" would usually feel comfortable or be welcome. And anyone with enough money can "play at" being about anything they want to be. If the "ranch" is working, and productive - and the hands get paid - there's no reason to begrudge them their toys.

As with a lot of things, it's easier with enough money to buy the modern "tools," and herding cattle from a Winebago permits turning the "roundup" (kinda grits on the teeth to call it that) into a social event of sorts. When the work was harder, the celebrating was done by the survivors, after the work was finished.

There are still some fairly large ranches in the States, but they're mostly fenced to manageable sizes, and you don't have to do the old-style roundup because you keep track of where the animals are almost constantly.

The only place I've seen the "ranche" spelling was on one or two overpriced housing developments (usually with golf course and tennis courts). I don't know where they got it from, but it was probably the result of an advertising management study. Especially in the Southwest, "rancho" cropped up occasionally on working spreads - but is probably more common now to describe the "manufactured house" that sits behind the inoperable TransAm next to the busted refrigerator.

John


28 May 03 - 12:53 AM (#960239)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: GUEST

Ranchers raise A WHOLE BUNCH! Therefore, they raise cattle.


28 May 03 - 12:55 AM (#960240)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: GUEST

In Texas, Colorado, New Mexicon - less than 50 head makes you mearly a hobbiest - a "gentleman rancher".....or as the kids say, a "wannabe."


28 May 03 - 02:30 AM (#960260)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: catspaw49

Hey Q........Interesting explanation from the Canadian side of things. I think you left out the part about where y'all infect them with Mad Cow Disease.................

Also want to thank all of you for the info about "draft oxen" and all. Helps me to more fully understand where Budweiser comes from......

Spaw


28 May 03 - 04:20 AM (#960306)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: Dave the Gnome

Where do dowgies(sp?) come from?

keep them dowgies rolling, Rawhide...

Just wondering.

DtG


28 May 03 - 04:25 AM (#960310)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: katlaughing

LOL...draft oxen indeed!

John, you said, Note that the "Cattleman's Associations" (and in some places the "Cattlemen's Club(s)") weren't places where the cowboys, or other "hired hands" would usually feel comfortable or be welcome.

In my great-grandfather's time, in Colorado, that was not true. He was one of the early members of the Colorado Cattleman's Assoc., went to big shindigs in Denver and all and was a real, honest-to-goodness cowboy as well as cattle rancher with an early homestead. I have a Denver POST with a picture of him and other bigwigs of the CCA superimposed on the back of a steer with a short article about their annual meeting. Sure, the non landowning cowboy might not have felt comfortable there, but those who were members were very much still cowboys.

I also have a copy of a paper for which his son, my grandfather, wrote a cattleman's account of a run-in with some sheepherders. I find it interesting to note that he makes a distinction between the "hired guns" of the Utah based big sheepherd owners/companies and the local sheep-ranchers with whom he and his fellow ranchers had no quarrel.

kat


28 May 03 - 08:51 AM (#960416)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: Rapparee

You can find the term "ranche" used throughout Nathaniel P. Langford's "Vigilante Days and Ways" (Boston: JG Cupples, 1890; Helena, MT: Ameircan and World Geographic Publishing, 1996). This book deals with vigilanteism and crime in the areas which were or became Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Oregon, and Washington; the term may have been indigenous to the northern tier and Canada.


28 May 03 - 09:01 AM (#960423)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: MMario

wouldn't that be draught oxen?


28 May 03 - 11:11 AM (#960533)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: GUEST,Q

'Ranche turns up as a variant spelling and examples in the OED. I hadn't thought to check there.
The first use in print is from 1810, Zebulon Pike, Sources of the Mississippi: "When we arrived at the Ranche, we soon had out a number of boys, who brought in the horse."
More from the OED: Ranch is an Anglicization of the Spanish rancho. Definitions are:
1. A hut or house in the country. (Pike's use)
2. A cattle-breeding establishment, also the persons employed or living on this.
3. Use in words such as ranchwoman, ranchhouse, ranchowner.

Can someone find an earlier definite use of ranch in the sense of a cattle operation before Bret Harte and Mark Twain used the term in the 1860s? The OED is uncertain about its use in 1831 (J. O. Pattie, personal narrative)- "At a ranch, I purchased a horse for three dollars" (whether a house, farm or cattle operation is not clear to the OED editors). In 1847, Lundy- "We set off at daybreak, and went some twenty-one miles to a ranche." The OED accepts this one as referring to a livestock operation.

Another meaning is to let land for grazing (1910 example)


28 May 03 - 12:22 PM (#960579)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: The O'Meara

Thank you all for your concise and insightful answers to my query. As near as I can tell,then, ranchers raise cattle, which means property, but refers to a whole buch of kine, (which means cows,) but is a word nobody uses anymore, so they're called cows individually except for the bulls, which are anatomically modified into steers, or oxen, except in western Canada, where they are mules instead of oxen.

O'Meara

ps Or am I wrong here?


28 May 03 - 01:47 PM (#960655)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: Charley Noble

I believe the "dowgies" are the young cattle of either sex. As Carl Sandburg used to sing:

Early in the spring we round up the dogies,
Mark and brand and bob off their tails,
Round up our horses, load up the chuck wagon,
Then throw the dogies up on the trail.

Whoopee, to yi yo, git along, little dogies!
It's your misfortune and none of my own;
Whoopee, to yi yo, git along, little dogies,
For you know that Wyoming will be your new home!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


28 May 03 - 01:49 PM (#960657)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: Charley Noble

Whoopee, ti yi yo...


28 May 03 - 02:17 PM (#960678)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: GUEST,Q

O'Meara, you are singing the right song, except that cattle cannot be modified into oxen, which are a different animal. So there are male and female oxen and the normal things can happen.
Oxen are a hobby animal here, used to pull a 'pioneer' wagon in parades or sometimes in weight-pulling demonstrations. In Canada, I believe contests in load-pulling have been abandoned.

For a glossary of western lingo on line, see Cowboys-Vaqueros: Vaquero Cowboy Lingo
Index to this great little book by Gilbert y Chavez at: Cowboys Vaqueros

Or get "Western Words, A Dictionary of the Range, Cow Camp and Trail," by Ramon F. Adams, University of Oklahoma Press. Lots of information here, not all of it in agreement with Gilbert y Chavez.


28 May 03 - 03:39 PM (#960715)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: Ebbie

Every time I see 'What do ranchers raise?', my mind says 'ranches'. There. Now I can forget it. I hope.


28 May 03 - 04:03 PM (#960732)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: katlaughing

LOL @ Ebbie's pun!

Charley, maybe it was a typo? but out West it is never pronounced "dow gies" rather "dough gees." Likewise my great-granddad's name "Dowd" was pronounced "doughd." Don't know why, but them's the way 'tis and ah'm stickin' to it!:-)


28 May 03 - 04:10 PM (#960734)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: katlaughing

I forgot to say, in a working 1830's village in New England, known as Old Sturbridge Village, they use oxen for all kinds of things, including plowing and hauling. I've got a great picture of my kids with them from when they were little and we went there to visit.

You can see a picture of them working the fields on the main page and, if you scroll down to the tour, and click on village center it will take you to another picture of them, in their yokes and working.

We never did see oxen out here when I was growing up and never heard them spoken of, except maybe in early wagon train days.

kat


28 May 03 - 04:20 PM (#960744)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: open mike

One comment was made about the horns of cattle.
{a cow is any bovine with horns (even if cropped)
and a contrary nature.}
they are not always cut (or burned) off
Polled cattle are bred to not have horns.
A heifer is a "virgin" or young cow (female)
who has not yet given birth or been bred.
(or given milk)
Some people confuse the term heifer with the
term Hereford, which describes a breed-the
ones which are brownish red with white heads.
If they are crossed with angus, they are black
with white faces.
Then there are Hog Ranches, too, at least at
the Strawberry music festival there is a hog ranch
road, and a radio station namedc after it called
Hog Ranch Radio.
Pigs, a.k.a swine come in these different flavors:
Barrows, sows and guilts (spelling?)
meaning adult ("intact") males, females and "fixed"
or "Spayed" males (terms usually only used for cats and dogs)
I remember hearing these terms on the morning stock reports
on the radio.
We also have a Hog Ranch Road in the area where i live.


28 May 03 - 04:31 PM (#960750)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: MMario

boar - intact adult male pig
gilt - female pig until gives birth
sow - mature female pig
barrow - castrated male pig

all the same PORK flavor *grin*


28 May 03 - 04:39 PM (#960756)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: katlaughing

Well, we have a hog ranch of a different sort, I think, down the road from us: Pig-A-Sus. :-)


28 May 03 - 05:04 PM (#960771)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: Uncle_DaveO

Guest,Q said that cattle cannot be modified to be oxen, but are a different animal, and so there are both male and female oxen.

The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, (unabridged), says:

Ox (oks), n., pl. oxen for 1 and 2, oxes for 3. 1. the adult castrated male of the genus Bos, used as a draft animal and for food. 2. any member of the bovine family 3. a clumsy, stupid fellow

Dave Oesterreich


28 May 03 - 05:05 PM (#960772)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: open mike

i thought gilt was like gelding or gelded
meaning castrated male-here is an info page..
oink


28 May 03 - 06:19 PM (#960808)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: Burke

OED says Mmario has it right,
Gilt: A young sow or female pig.
The precise application of the term varies in different districts; see quots. 1788-1886.

but in the entymology includes: Connexion with GELD v. has been suggested, but the meaning of 'spayed pig' seems to be accidental, though it is the common sense in Ger. and Du.

The oppositte of GILT is GALT: A boar or hog.


28 May 03 - 06:36 PM (#960828)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: stevetheORC

Little Ranches ?????? :-))))

De Orc


28 May 03 - 07:10 PM (#960871)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: GUEST,Q

Ouch! Unca Dave O, you got me! Beat the drums slowly, etc. I always thought that those big, 4-square beasts called oxen and hauling parade wagons and pulling sledges were a sort of selected breed of cattle. Turns out that most of them are just old steers, having lost their manhood some three years or more after they were born. There are a couple of farms here where the owner has selected for a few generations, not castrating likely bulls which he wishes to breed with likely females in order to get better draft animals, but this is apparently a modern twist by hobbyists.
I looked up a bunch of stuff, and it turns out to be quite a can of rocky mountain oysters.

Getting into the various meanings of ox is beyond the purpose of most dictionaries, but-
Starting at the beginning, ox, oxen, was the Saxon name for the males of domesticated cattle. To a zoologist, however, the term includes bovine animals of every description- true oxen, bison and buffalos.
The Bovidae are those bovines typified by horns which are never branched. The subfamily Bovinae includes the ox tribe and a couple of African groups- duikers and bushbucks. Narrowing down, the Tribe Bovini harbors the ox, buffalo, bison, etc.

Sticking to the domesticated cattle of the type we know.
Terminology- sex, etc.
The male is first a "bull-calf." If left alone, it becomes a bull, but if it is castrated, it becomes a "steer," and in 2-3 years grows to become an "ox."
The female is first a heifer-calf, growing into a heifer, and after 2-3 years becomes a "cow." Heifers may be spayed ("spayed heifer").
Working bulls are generally emasculated to quiet them down- "working oxen."

Now if I can only remember this when the next thread on the subject comes up-


28 May 03 - 08:25 PM (#960899)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: The O'Meara

I thought "Dogies" pronounced dough gees were young orphaned cattle. I've never heard anyone refer to big dogies.
    So a steer becomes an ox at about age 3, and a heifer becomes a cow about the same age. So there are no female oxen. Right?
    Uncle Dave O mentioned the genus "Bos". Is that why milk cows are commonly named Bossie? (serious question.) So the things ranchers raise on their ranchs are Genus Bos, species...what?

O'Meara


28 May 03 - 08:45 PM (#960902)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: GUEST,Q

Bos taurus. But a heck of a lot of breeds. Charolais, black and red angus, hereford (often pronounced her-ford), etc., etc.
Dogie- A scrubby calf that has not wintered well and is anemic from the scant food of the winter months- Western Words, Ramon F. Adams.
Gilbert y Chavez says the word comes from dogal, Spanish for a motherless calf.
Bossie? Don't know.


28 May 03 - 09:19 PM (#960912)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: Mudlark

I've known a few cattle ranchers in the west and have never heard the words or or oxen used for any of them, no matter what flavor. A good definition, at least it was for us, of the cattle business is "Buy dear and sell cheap." But then, our herdlet never ran to more than 20...uh...cows.


28 May 03 - 09:35 PM (#960915)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: GUEST,Q

Mudlark, I think that is why ox-oxen confused me. I doubt if many of the ranchers here in Canada use the term, I've never heard them do so. Most cattle have gone to market in the second year anyhow, many already as heifers. My wife's family raised cattle in Georgia. There, the word for an older steer was bullock. Webster's says it also means a young bull.


28 May 03 - 10:25 PM (#960941)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: Uncle_DaveO

I think "ox" and "oxen" are only used when such an animal is used for draft animal purposes, which hasn't been common in the US, at least, for at least a hundred years


Dave Oesterreich


29 May 03 - 12:40 AM (#961001)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: JohnInKansas

Kat - I think the only contradiction is that you're seeing some sort of conflict in granddaddy being both cattleman and cowboy. As long as he owned cattle and at least a bit of land to keep them on, he was a "cattleman" in the eyes of the "Associations," and he would have been welcomed (and probably "assessed" dues).

This wouldn't preclude his working his, or someone else's herd, as a cowboy, but without the "ownership" he wouldn't likely have had much to do with the Association(s).

Many "small ranchers" did, in fact, hire out as "cowboys" on nearby larger spreads, and while they were working in that capacity they would have been treated pretty much like "one of the boys." While this was mainly for the day to day ranch work, an owner might hire on for a drive just to learn the route when it came time to drive his own. Even as a "cowboy," if they passed near a town with a Cattleman's Club, he probably could have enjoyed a meal on a "real tablecloth" while the "just cowboys," who had no livestock of their own, ate at the saloon or hotel, off of oilcloth, at best.

There seem to be several of us who wish to quibble about scholarly resources who "authoritatively" define "proper" usage. I think the thread started off being about the local and colloquial jargon used in "cow country."

I would warn that few of the most prolific "western" authors were ever more than "visiting dudes" in the areas about which they wrote, and several of the most quoted never got west of Chicago - which is "back east where the cows got shipped." Additionally, they often wrote for "back east" readers, so they sometimes put on a few "airs" for the benefit of their "more sophisticated" readers. And early explorers were notoriously bad spelres.

Q - it's usually pronounced "herf-erd" rather than "her ford" around here.

And I believe someone pointed out that beef cattle don't live long enough for names for "mature" stock (or the sex of the animal) to matter much, with the exception of breeders.

Bovine draft animals are rare now, but I did go watch the Yoder Fair Mule Races a couple of years ago. It was a small town event, but the participants brought their working animals in, and put on quite a show. Festus may have had a good idea.

John


29 May 03 - 08:34 AM (#961165)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: Dave the Gnome

Thanks Charlie and O'Meara. Another of lifes little mysteries solved. Now if I could only figure out where I put my coffee...

Cheers

DtG


29 May 03 - 12:47 PM (#961336)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: katlaughing

Way back up there someone asked if sheepmen could be considered ranchers, too.

I was speaking with my dad this AM and asked him if they used to call those who raised sheep "ranchers." His reply was no, they always called them "sonabitches!"

John, I think it is a small distinction, too, just wanted to make it clear that owners could also be cowboys. IN the earlier days, also, I am not so sure that non-owning wouldn't have been welcome. There was a good deal of respect and leeway given to those who'd been out on the range for along time, etc. when they came to town, plus on my gret-granddad's ranch, at least, the hired hands spent mealtimes and evening times with the family at the main house, no division according to any kind of class thing. FWIW

Sad to say I've just heard my dad's cousin, still ranching my other ancestor's original homestead, up before dawn to feed, etc., died of a heart attack this past Sunday. We will be going up on Saturday for the services at the ranch where he will be buried on a hill. He was a tall lanky sort, typical in blue jeans and snap button shirts. He came to my mom's service with red bailing twine in his back pocket from feeding cattle that morning. RIP, "Uncle" Barton.

Thanks,

kat


29 May 03 - 06:12 PM (#961496)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: The Walrus

So we have
Cattle ranches, raising bovine quadrupeds,
Horse ranches raising horses (or equine cattle<1>, if you prefer)
Ostritch ranches, raising ostriches and
Buffalo ranches raising 'buffalo' ('Water Buffalo' or bison?)

But I hear that there is a 'Chicken Ranch' in Nevada that has nothing to do with chickens <2>- comments?

Walrus

<1> the term 'cattle' was occasionally used of horses in Regency England, I believe.
<2> It is, or was, I gather, a famous(infamous) legal brothel.


29 May 03 - 08:53 PM (#961572)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: Rapparee

From my understanding of the West, cowboys often raised hell.

So did the ranchers.


30 May 03 - 01:19 PM (#962009)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: Charley Noble

Glad to have it confirmed that "dogies" comes from the Spanish. A lot of the cowboy lingo is drawn from the Spanish ranchers who occupied the great southwest before we muscled in.

We still have ox pulling competitions here in Maine at our county fairs. There seem to be ox of most every breed in evidence, even Jerseys. As young children, my brother and I used to gallop around the farm in "training yokes." My parents used to think we were a very funny sight to see, but our visiting cousins never seemed to get the yoke...

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


31 May 03 - 11:03 AM (#962507)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: Charley Noble

I really didn't mean to kill this thread. ;~(

Charley Noble


31 May 03 - 07:48 PM (#962663)
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?
From: open mike

i think the famous ranch in nevada is Mustang Ranch...
where human flesh is the product...
have not heard of any such establishment
with chicken in the name...