Although I was only there for two hours I could tell that Mr. Fry knew what he was talking about and I that I didn't know nearly enough. He spent some time talking in the barn and then we went out to the corral where he was evaluating come cows and eventually bulls. I was only able to be there while he evaluated two cows, but it was pretty interesting. Once I have some free time I know that I'm going read and re-read all of the articles on his website ... I was that impressed!
While I can't do it all justice and can't remember half of what he said (it was very overwhelming), let me just throw out a few bullet points from the day:
- If you aren't line breeding you aren't doing the best that you can do. This is a pretty a pretty bold statement and it did prompt a few questions, but Mr. Fry was pretty strong in his beliefs ... I can't even begin expound on this idea, but it was very interesting.
- Butterfat has a huge influence in meat tenderness. And a bald udder is an indicator of high butterfat content. Oh, and there were a couple of questions about genetic testing for tenderness. Mr. Fry said that it was good research, but also said he had no reason to give people money to do testing that he could do by looking.
- There is a dime sized spot of hair on the back of a cow near the front shoulders that can indicate whether or not a cow is pregnant.
- From about August through December (I think I got that right) is when a cows body most wants to get pregnant (you get the idea).
- You gotta get your bulls from your own herd, and I think this is where he mentioned the importance of a paternal herd ... I think.
- Bulls need to look masculine and cows need to look feminine.
- Finally, this is the one I liked the best. We need to be studying what our forefathers of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries wrote about cattle, because they had it down!