visitor to the Devil’s Rope
Museum said, “Today, with all the ranges and farms already fenced there is
probably not much demand for barbed wire.” I explained most barbed
wire fences last only about 30 to 35 years before needing replacement. Prairie
fires or storms often destroy sections of fencing before that time, so there
is always a demand for new barbed
wire fencing. As time passes, many parcels of land are divided and more fences
quick check in The San Angelo Livestock Weekly shows 10 ads by fence building
companies offering to build any type of fence for cattle, sheep or wild game.
Another 12 ads offered fence building materials, removal of old fences and cutting
cedar and mesquite brush from the right of way.
the many acres of wildfires taking place in the nation this year, fencing crews
are often weeks behind in schedules.
as destructive as prairie fires
are the damages perpetrated by wild hogs. Nearly every day the subject appears
in newspapers and magazines. Research shows the annual average amount of damages
caused by a mature hog can total $500. They often push through fences like a bulldozer,
breaking wires and posts. Though many are hunted, slaughtered, trapped and killed
by vehicles along the highways, the hogs are winning the war.
wild hogs is becoming a booming business. Ever-ingenious man has designed and
built portable traps capable of capturing, containing and hauling the vicious
animals. Most use a bait of corn. Though swine are the most intelligent of domestic
animals they just can’t turn down a free meal.
There are 36 listed buying
stations in Texas offering to buy wild hogs live on the hoof. Another effort found
a farmer whose peanut crop was destroyed by wild hogs, trapped and fed out the
bunch for slaughter, recouping some losses.
the worst drought in history in effect, many ranchers are facing tough decisions
about what to do with their livestock. These decisions can either make or break
a producer so what to do has became a serious decision. My father, J.T. Trew,
a respected cowman in his day, offered sage advice: “Never cull your own cows.
It’s too easy to let sentiment and prejudice get in the way. Always get a respected
neighbor or friend to do the actual culling.”
For example, take that old
pet cow called “Shirley.” She has produced eight top steer calves in the past
years and who is always first to arrive at the feed wagon might get by another
year by feeding her a “little extra” on the side. But in reality, when she calves
in late February, she will look like an ancient, gutted Kildeer who hasn’t had
a drink of water or a bite of food in a month. So, look out stock owners, the
big test is fast approaching.
Trew - December
21, 2011 column
"It's All Trew"
Trew is a freelance writer and retired rancher. He can be reached at 806-779-3164,
by mail at Box A, Alanreed, TX 79002, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For books see delberttrew.com. His column appears weekly.
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