Saturday, March 20, 2010

Howie and Sadie, Best Friends

Sadie and Howie are best friends. Sadie is 12, Howie 14. Howie has bad arthritis and cannot move around much. Sadie has an old injury that left her partially lame. This precludes them from hoofing it up in the hills with the other cattle.

Sadie is a Holstein, bred for dairy production. Howie is a Charolais, bred for beef production. You can see the physical difference between the two breeds. Sadie may be as tall as Howie, but she probably weighs about 800 lbs less! Howie is about 2,000 lbs and Sadie about 1,200 lbs.

Sadie and Howie hanging out

Sadie and Howie sharing grass

They always look a bit sad. Mainly, I think they look like they are in pain. Even with daily pain meds, arthritis and old age just hurt. Now, old age is, of course, individualistic! We have a 15-yr-old Jersey who will probably live another 10 years, no problem. And there is a healthy 10 year old Holstein who is way bigger than Sadie. She slides down hills for fun (we discourage this). But a crippling injury and large size have had negative effects on Sadie and Howie. We make them comfortable and they seem content with their lives.
Sadie and Howie side by side

7 comments:

Schwang said...

They are so cute together.

Pibble said...

Do they look sad? Or do they just look like my Aunt Fanny and Uncle Ralph, happy together and that's enough for them? The are awfully cute... (So were Fanny and Ralph.)

Maureen said...

Good morning! I just saw this article in the Oakland Tribune. I don't know if you would have any suggestions for this woman, but thought I would pass it along just in case....

Tracy woman in dire need of relocating dozens of feral cats:
http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_14713518

Thanks! Maureen

Retrieverman said...

Charolais are draft cattle.

It wasn't until the 18th century that cattle were specifically bred to be eaten. That breed was the English longhorn:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/80/English_Longhorn_bull,_Quenby.jpg

The cattle were too valuable as draft animals and for their milk to be specifically bred to be eaten.

Rinalia said...

@Schwang: They sure are!

@Pibble: I like that idea much better. They do remind me of an old, cute couple. :)

@Maureen: Oh gosh, that is unfortunate. We have one territorial barn cat who kills any other cats. Hopefully some of the feral groups will help out.

@Retrieverman: Charolais in the US are bred for meat consumption. They're a relatively modern breed here. My understanding is that even in France they were popular as meat animals, but I am not that familiar with their development in their country of origin.

Retrieverman said...

Currently, they are meat animals. Yes, even in France. I saw large herds of them in Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy.

But if you look at how muscled they are, they were originally bred to be draft oxen.

The first cattle that were bred for their meat were the English longhorns.

Before that, cattle just were too valuable as draft animals and milk producers to be raised solely for meat. Most European peasants ate pork, not beef.

Christina Edwards said...

they are so beautiful! how could anyone want to eat them