Every year our mailbox becomes persistently infected with a strange virus. Starting about late January the mail slowly but steadily starts swelling. With the swelling there are also symptoms of shinny and glossy tones, spotted with pictures of what would appear to be finished steers, however closer scrutiny of the pictures reveals that they are indeed intact bulls. The symptoms get rapidly worse by mid February and do not seem to improve till mid April. I have spent many tireless hours researching a name for this virus, to which ‘til now I have found no published research data. I have mentioned these symptoms to some very knowledgeable colleagues of mine and they have confirmed what my gut instinct was telling me — my mailbox and mail has been infected with, “Bullshititis”!
Bullshititis can be found throughout all beef producing regions of North America. Its origins are difficult to pinpoint, but it would appear its infection is established when beef producers forget cattle are ruminants and try to convert them into a mono-gastric corn and barley bio-digester. These persistently infected breeders feel that they can reverse the “negative” effects of 10,000 years of solar powered forage bio-digesting evolution and replace it with more “efficient” fossil fuel burning technologies in order to create profitability.
Infection with Bullshititis begins when producers believe that the most important factor in profitability is production. My research into the matter has concluded that the dominant trait these producers believe in is weaning weight. Instead of working with 10,000 years of evolutionary advantages and solar powered technology the producer decides that calving in January and February will give them a “natural advantage” to improve the weight of their calves by September/October. Through delusional transfixed thinking processes they also find it becomes very efficient to serve all feeds in the form of pelleted, chopped and/or ground states in order to stop the ruminant from their nasty habit of chewing their cud!
To efficiently serve the “five-star, three course meals” there is also a need to build “five-star dining facilities and accommodations.” In these facilities the guests are bedded daily in golden linen and protected with the finest of wood and steel motifs. Completing the experience waiters and servants are on call 24 hours per day, ready to dote on each and every need of the 1,600 lb. guests. Vacancies in these “accommodations” are rare and occupancies often exceed five months, where after there are extensive renovations to the facilities including complete removal of all flooring material with heavy specialized equipment,
These 100% forage-genetics and 100% forage-developed, fullblood New Zealand Angus cattle are an example of the building blocks to a sustainable, solar-powered beef production system.
because of the rude habit of the guests defecating practices.
Because of limited profitability and a delusional fixation on production the effects of Bullshititis becomes progressively worse. In fact breeders become extremely possessed; seeking even more milk, more growth and more weaning weight. Even though these symptoms appear very similar to rabies and dogs that chase their own tail, there is a major difference. There is a cure and there are preventative measures.
Steps for preventing and curing the effects of Bullshititis include:
Filter/recycle all and any propaganda at the mailbox level that appears with bulls that look like finished steers and that have their feet hidden in golden linen. Be leery of any animals that have a birth date between January and March
Stay away from operators who are servants to their 1,600 lb beast of burden
Avoid contact with facilities that are overrun with steel and wooden structures
Avoid contact with breeders who’s cows do not graze for eight months of the year
Learn the difference between Profit and Production. They are not related!
Invest in and learn the operating procedure of a calculator and if you become proficient with this equipment elevate to the use of spreadsheets
Seek bulls from breeders that use
solar energy as the key element to driving their operating system and that consider themselves as grass farmers first
Finally invest in genetics that come from 100 per cent forage selected and developed systems.
Why? Because it is very easy make a poor-doing bull look good with grain, and next to impossible to make him look good without it. How you handle Bullshititis is up to you but remember although it is a contagious virus, it is also completely preventable.
Dr. Christoph E. Weder is a purebred Angus breeder in the Peace region of Alberta and also runs SVR Ranch Consulting. He is also a founding member of Prairie Heritage Beef Producers For additional info check out www.spiritviewranch.com