Livestock Legends

Let’s be honest.  I am a livestock junkie.  I really don’t care what species, I like it and have studied it.  Some more than others.  I can easily name a Mount Rushmore for all 4 species of show stock.

Back in the 80’s, when I wasn’t reading the World Book Encyclopedia, I was studying magazines like the Purple Circle and Showbox.  Then the internet came along.  I have followed genetics for cattle, pigs, sheep and goats.  I’m not retarded when it comes to thoroughbred horses or cutting horses.  I know a good chicken when I see it.  I digress.

Sometimes, regardless of species, one gets a chance to interact with a true livestock legend.  Some names just cross reference very easily.  And a lot of times they are tied to a specific breed.

Since we had our Not Quite doe herd dispersal, I have been waiting for a true livestock legend to venture to Fargo, Ok.  He hadn’t been to our place before.  But, he had been to Fargo before.  And he bought a buck from us a couple of years ago.  I just met him on the interstate to make that delivery.

When our sale closed, I noticed that he had bought a direct daughter and a grand-daughter of K9.  He did well.  Genetically and price-wise, he did real well.  He had asked if it was fine if they stayed here till mid July.  No problem.  It would be the end of June until one of them was ready to wean.  And YES, I was keeping the buck kids from that one.

Today was the day that Mr. John Penner came to pick up his doe purchases.  Yes, the Hampshire hog king.  Very few people can be tied to a breed like the name Penner Hampshires.  This man made purebred Hampshire gilts famous for several decades.  Numerous name-brand boars were and are tied to him.  A true livestock legend–it might even be appropriate to use the term Icon (some will get it).  I had talked to him on the phone several times and met him before.  But, it is different when a legend is at your place.

And then there is the rest of the story.

Mr. Penner showed up today.  I was Kelly clipping buck prospects.  He looked at a few.  A pair of them were out of one of his purchases.  He was pleased.  I was pleased.

He then asked, “Is that lot 14, tag B33 as good as she looked in her picture?”

I said, “Better. But we have a situation with her.”  He then looked at me and you could tell that the wheels were spinning….Is she hurt?  Is she dead?  Did he sell her out from under me?  What in the heck?”

    A week after the sale, I remember thinking that B33 looked really good.  She has always been a damn good doe, but she looked really good.  Another week passed, and I was looking at her and thought, “Oh heck.  Is she bagging?”   I sold her open.  She is sold to Nebraska.  They will need her ready to breed in July/August.  The next week, there was no doubt that she was starting to bag.  In true Rainman/K9 fashion, these girls don’t start bagging until 2 weeks out.  

Do I call him?  Wait to see?  Yes, I know a buck got out and when.  If she kids around July 4-8, it is that buck.  Guess what?  July 4, she had a doe kid.  Out of Warthog.

I told him the situation and said that I will make it right.  He wanted to see Warthog.  Then we went to the pen with the does.  A six day old doe kid got up.  He pointed to it and asked if that was it.   I said, “Yes.”  He then asked, “What do I owe?”

I replied, “Nothing.  But if you aren’t happy, I will make it right.”

He then said, “You mean I bought two does but I am going home with three?”

“Yes sir.”

My feet were not touching the ground when he said, “I really like what I bought but my grandkids are going to love that little one.  I like it.”

We loaded the does.  Then he asked how far it was to Johnny File’s.

I said, “A mile and a half.”

He then said, “Call him and get him over here.”

I was ecstatic to get to call a good neighbor and tell him that John Penner was here waiting on him.  I gladly leaned on that pickup and listened to some new stories.  Stories about hampshire gilts, boars raised and sold, Poland boars (Rescue), bird dog pups, knee replacements and wheel chairs.  There was even a story that involved chicken wire.

I love raising good stock.  Regardless of species, some terminology just fits.  And when you can stand in a lot and discuss maternal characteristics, reproductive abilities  and the importance of keeping females middle of  the road…..well, those of you that know me…..

Some days are better than others.   I hope your day was as good as mine.

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