When it comes to working cattle knowing the sign of the moon is important for many. Castrating calves — or older animals — is generally successful if done right. But done wrong, it can be a catastrophe! R.P. (Doc) Cooke, a Sparta, Tennessee cattleman and veterinarian is adamant that the sign of the moon can mean a live animal, or a dead one.

Cooke says, according to the zodiac, the best time to castrate is when signs are under Sagittarius (thighs), Capricorn (knees), Aquarius (legs) and Pisces (feet). “If we castrate when the signs are in the knees (Capricorn) and the following day they are in the feet (Pisces) that is considered optimal.”  That couples with the old adage that “the signs are going down”. Cooke said he did not claim to understand, but he does not argue with the signs. He also recognizes that many cattle producers use banding rather than a knife for the surgery. But he says that if a band is used, the animal needs a tetanus and antitoxin subcutaneously.

That beef in a hamburger or a can of soup may come from a U.S. source, or from an outfit in Argentina. Since our big “farm organizations” are against any use of country of origin labels on beef at the supermarket or restaurant it’s no telling where the meat comes from, or how it was raised. But when it comes to turkeys, it is a different story.

The Honeysuckle brand of bird is adding a code in test markets for purchasers to find out where the turkey was raised and get information about the farm it came from. Cargill Corporation, owner of the Honeysuckle brand, says consumers want to know more about the food — where it comes from and how it is produced. Now if the beef folks could get behind such a movement, the story of how beef is produced on American farms and ranches could be told!

We had a taste of winter last week with a cold front that meant ditching the straw hat for felt. For cattle operators it means winter feeding is not far away. Knowing the feeding value of the hay you produced — or bought — can be a money saver.

High protein and high TDN hay can substitute for a lot of cubes, liquid feed or molasses tubs. That $20 or so spent on hay testing could save thousands of dollars over the winter feeding period.

No more professional football for a spell. When many of the NFL teams played this past Sunday, too many of the overpaid, under-intelligent team members refused to stand for the National Anthem. The Houston Texans were a glaring example of players who think they own and run the game. Only ten Texans stood during the Anthem — the rest took a knee. Of all the NFL teams, only six have had all players standing when the National Anthem is played. These teams are the Cowboys, Cardinals, Bears, Vikings, Bengals and Jets. Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones was understood by his players when he told them “disrespect our flag and you won’t play.”

Those coddled and overpaid misfits who take a knee during the National Anthem won’t be missed — so collect your big checks and forget this viewer!

Horace@valornet.com