Silent cry of cattle

Reality flashes with stellar elation as emaciated herds and weak individuals are seen in the pastures announcing their next exodus, often inevitable, in front of ranchers eager to contain their shock.

This prevailing image in each period of more or less intense drought reflects significant damage, although, paradoxically, it does not enter the public arena much compared to other agricultural disasters that are easier to compensate.

I refuse to talk about numbers that exceed hundreds per herd in terms of animal deaths, because I prefer to expose and talk about the popular anxiety about how to act in these circumstances, which is brandished by many on the street.

Let us assume that due to various obstacles we do not have enough food in sufficient quantities to keep these cattle in a decent condition. Isn’t it better to slaughter weaker animals than wait for their imminent death? Or is it stupid to apply this measure? It seems one hundred percent not when it comes to logic.

Why they avoid prophylactic slaughter and opt for gradual and unsuccessful eviction is what draws attention on the street stands, considering that the condemned cattle would be in better physical condition if they did not wait so long for a possible source of fattening that would never come.

It is logical that those in charge know which heads are the most spoiled, require more care to even prioritize their food as much as possible, starting with cows, heifers and calves providing the breed.

It turns out to be more than true that if it depended only or mainly on the reduction of drought and the flowering of pastures, then the possibility of salvation would be largely the result of a miracle. And, of course, this expectation of what falls from the sky contributes to the deterioration of the mass, sometimes afflicted even by the lack of water to drink in these hot times.

This harsh reality, this ineffective strategy, with no quicker solution than waiting for glorious rainstorms to reverse food shortages, usually happens every year in front of a bewildered public opinion. And this, too, was no exception.

Consequences? In addition to large losses of the herd, the surviving part may be very depleted and delicate, the restoration of which will require time and resources, which are also not fully available.

I make it clear to the astute that we are not inviting random mass slaughter without a good reason, but something well thought out and only from those parts known to be in immediate danger of dying as soon as the natural grass is gone.

Waste in livestock is very costly because it takes years of breeding, attention, and significant resource input to bring animals to true productivity.

Unfortunately, the drought will continue to damage livestock production as long as there is a shortage of food from other non-seasonal sources. That is why it is necessary to resort to science and experience to determine the size of the herd that can withstand the challenge of animals that are more alive than dead, and to decide in advance how many heads each producer can keep, according to their skills and resources, during the cyclical encounter with this period of natural famine.

Source: Juventud Rebelde


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