Uncle Dave has written and today is the day…Uncle Dave’s Cow Version 2.0 is headed to the benevolent butcher today. I get to make the cutting instructions on this one and asked for the whole kit and caboodle: heart, liver, tail, cheeks. The cheeks will be easy, tail too, but join me for future posts as I endeavor to turn that offal into some kick-butt pepperoni.
I can’t tell you the name of the steer graciously trotting to the abattoir today. What I do know is that he is a Murray Grey-Angus cross. According to the Animal Science folks at Oklahoma State University, my cow’s forbearers roamed among wallabies and crocodiles, the breed originating in New South Wales, Australia. Interestingly, it is reputed that in 1905…
…on the Thologolong property of Peter Sutherland, a particular roan Shorthorn cow, when bred to various Aberdeen Angus bulls, dropped only grey calves, 12 of them by 1917. Because Mrs. Eva Sutherland liked these grey calves, her husband didn’t slaughter them although he feared they would reflect poorly on his black Angus herd. When her husband died in 1929, Mrs. Sutherland sold the herd of Greys to her cousin Helen Sutherland who started a systematic breeding with 8 cows and 4 bulls.
Those industrious women! I’ll not repeat here the particulars of the cows’ emigration to the States but be warned that it involves some graphic and necessary animal husbandry. What is important to know is that these cows start out small at birth and grow at a good solid rate thereafter. The mama cows are good mothers and milkers and the breed in general is reputed to be docile. Their gray color reflects heat well, though in these parts I’d say it serves them better as camouflage from predators!
I told Husband Hendel this morning that I thought I would let the kids name this one, as they did the others (if that weren’t already obvious to you). However, in the spirit of community, I am open to suggestions. I’ll send some pepperoni, in fact, to the winning participant if we choose your name. Are you game?