Sunday, 2 November 2008

Fun with Feedlots

So let's talk about feedlots.

What? You don't know much about feedlots?

Well, join the club. I've been trying to learn more about feedlots for Texas Fall, the next in the i,Farmgirl series...of P...and it's not an easy task. The cattle numbers I'm reading about are astounding. 4,000 head, up to 250,000. Twice daily feedings. Shots, worming, etc. Sheesh.

Can you imagine the pure amount of sh*t that many cows are going to let out?

I'm horrified when I just clean up after the two boyz. I'm convinced they're revenge poopers. As soon as I'm done with cleaning it, boom there they go again. It's some crazy hangup of theirs.

Massive amounts of time and energy. Up to 25-50 employees. There are still head cowboys out there. Riding horses. They have them all over the world, not just here (which is ignorant when you go to think about it but seriously, have you ever thought about it? I thought not.)

I've contacted some feedlots to get the big questions down. I'm hoping they feel interested enough in calling me (or emailing) back so we can have a chat. I'm hoping


Benjamin Stürmer said...

I imagine I'm somewhat distant from your target demographic, but it sounds like you're on your way to writing a book I would really, really be interested in reading.

There are certainly a thousand books out there that I've liked for their story, but the books I love are almost invariably ones that combine a clever story and interesting characters with a pile of stuff I didn't know about the world. That aspect of science fiction is what turned me on to reading in the first place.

So keep up the work. I know it must feel like a huge pain to invest so much time in getting the background details of your story right, but that kind of depth will absolutely make a fan out of me.

I'm squeezing my thumbs for you!

(PS - you get massive bonus points if you can get my "word verification" word into your book. This time it is "clatiole")

Debbi said...

We've never had that many at a time, but a dozen pigs and a few cows are enough for anyone. lol.
We raise 4H animals during the year for the county fairs that come in Aug. My kids have shown dairy cows for 12 years, (Patrick is in his last year as a senior in high school)And swine for six.
Along the way we've done goats/chickens and beef cattle.
They are a lot of work. We have beef cattle right now and new pigs will arrive sometime in the spring. And it is true, pigs are smart, smarter than some dogs we've had. lol.

JKB said...

hey Benjamin, I'm with you - I really like to experience totally different environments...and I miss that area and whatnot so much, it's a real pleasure to be able to go back there and go through it again.

Deb, I would have killed when I was little to do 4H...and I think pigs are cute. I've read lots about them, evidently they are super smart...and being smarter than some dogs I've known wouldnÄt be so difficult. LOL!

Heidi the Hick said...

Jen, one of my buds is from a big farm family, who have raised beef cattle for decades. About ten years ago, he spent a year or so in Kansas working on a partner's feedlot.

His official job position was in the feedmill, but of course he got roped into doing all kinds of jobs. He said the place was unbelievably huge, and all those cattle in big pens meant no grass. All hay and milled feed.

The manure storage was a whole other job site. The interesting thing is that here in Ontario, his family have an amazing manure composting system that churns out lovely black odourless topsoil!

It was exhausting, that feedlot job, and in the heat of summer it got right dusty and smelly.

He liked it though. He likes to work hard physically and get dirty and then in the evening, drink a beer and read something.

He didn't get to ride any horses though. Other guys did that. Still the most efficent way to move cattle. He did, however, get to drive the awesome big diesel pickup trucks!