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Do you cry when one of the calves are stillborn or when you lose a cow? And if you don't now, did you used to?

Hi Lexi,

Though it is sad to lose an animal, I don't cry, and I haven't in the past either. I don't have a huge emotional attachment to my animals. They're not like real pets or like family, they are animals that are there to work, to help me make money, keep taxes low, keep the grass down and feed people. I can't get emotionally attached to animals I know are going to leave the farm some day, and are going to be turned into meat. Calves are cute, but humanizing them isn't going to do me or them any good because they don't stay little nor cute for long. And they are cattle, not humans.

The only time I may have an emotional attachment to my cows is if I have a couple cows that are long-time gals that have a special place on the farm and at that special enough to have me consider it worthwhile for them to live out thir days on the farm. But cows like those are hard to come by.

I know I sound indifferent and probably greedy, but there's a point where animals can be considered part of a human family and are like your employees. You (also referring to I) most certainly do everything you (I) can to care for them and work to meet their needs so that they can give me what I would like to have from them--income, beef, calves, and well managed pastures. If they can't do their job, or don't work as well as I want them to, they are gone. If a cow dies from an illness or has to be put down, then it has to be done because there's no other way to do it. Crying won't get the work done, and won't help make things better to minimine further death losses.

Besides, when one owns and raises livestock, they should always, ALWAYS understand that when you have livestock, you will get dead-stock.

I hope that answers your question.

Take care,



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Karin L


Forage-Beef Extension Specialist. Knowledge in almost everything to do with beef and dairy cattle. Strong points include forage production, pasture and rangeland management, grazing management, breeding/calving/weaning, cattle genetics, breeds, feeding and nutrition, starting-up, and most physiological questions. I AM NOT A BOVINE VETERINARIAN; so please any questions that concern serious health of your cattle must be taken to your local large animal veterinarian.


Part of a farm family that bought, raised, and sold stocker/backgrounder steers; assisted with health management, handling, feeding, pasture management, and forage production. Also worked at local mixed-practice veterinary clinic. Experience with cattle included breeding soundness exams on bulls, castration, fixing prolapses, preg-checking, C-sections, calf pulling, vaccinations, etc. Worked at a local farm and ranch supply store selling medications and feed for livestock. Research assistant for the University of Alberta with range health assessments, and helping with various rangeland research projects. Always learning and gaining more experience as time goes on.

Alberta Farm Express Agri-News and Call of the Land (Alberta Agriculture)

BSc in Agriculture (Animal Science Major) @ University of Alberta, June 2015 graduate, but started studies in 2005. An Sci degree allowed me to specialize and gain significant knowledge in beef & dairy cattle production,animal behaviour and reproduction, ruminant nutrition, forage production/management, rangeland and pasture management & ecology, and plant identification.

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Various eef and forage producers in Alberta, CAN

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