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Not everyone wants to know what you know, but they should at least get the chance.

R. P. 'Doc' Cooke, Blogger

June 10, 2019

2 Min Read

Recently I have been counting total cattle pounds in 1,000-pound increments for "cow days" calculations.

After I total thousand pounds of animals, then I figure how many pounds per day of dry matter (forage grass) I have out in front of the cattle. When I have time I also estimate how much feed there is back behind the cattle. This figure swings drastically as to moisture, daylight (sunshine) and temperature.

There is a bunch of difference in grazing pasture and regrowth Sept. 1 and what we hit after Sept. 20. At some point in time around frost we do not plan to see any real significant growth of perennial forages again until after Feb. 10. If you do not practice such management thinking maybe it’s easier to understand why a grazing system wiht little or no hay sounds impossible.

In that vein, I ran across an old book the other day and read the edges. One of the things it reminded me was to share the things I've learned. That's what I try to do with this blog.

The book is All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, by Robert Fulghum. Here is my short list, taken from his longer list. These are the ones that struck me as important and/or worthwhile:

  1. Share what you know to be correct with others.

  2. Share what you have accumulated.

  3. Don’t overcharge or cheat in business or work.

  4. Don’t swing at people.

  5. Return tools to where they belong and came from (I lost a framing hammer last week).

  6. Clean up behind yourself.

  7. When you’re wrong, own up to it and ask forgiveness and mean it.

  8. Clean up at least a little before you eat.

  9. When you’re finished – flush the head.

  10. Study and think and learn and laugh.

  11. It won’t kill you to do some honest work everyday.

  12. A little play is good.

  13. Belly laugh every day – mostly at yourself.

  14. Get goodly amounts of sleep on a regular basis even if it requires an occasional nap.

  15. Hold hands with the one you love and move toward agreement on a daily basis.

  16. The biggest words we’ve learned might lightly be "look" and "listen."

  17. Oh yes, regularly (once or more every day) check in with our Maker and spend a good amount of that time in thankfulness and do a bunch of listening.

Truth is that I need to review this list on a real regular basis.

About the Author(s)

R. P. 'Doc' Cooke


R. P. "Doc" Cooke, DVM, is a mostly retired veterinarian from Sparta, Tennessee. Doc has been in the cattle business since the late 1970s and figures he's driven 800,000 miles, mostly at night, while practicing food animal medicine and surgery in five counties in the Upper Cumberland area of middle Tennessee. He says all those miles schooled him well in "man-made mistakes" and that his age and experiences have allowed him to be mentored by the area’s most fruitful and unfruitful "old timers." Doc believes these relationships provided him unfair advantages in thought and the opportunity to steal others’ ideas and tweak them to fit his operations. Today most of his veterinary work is telephone consultation with graziers in five or six states. He also writes and hosts ranching schools. He is a big believer in having fun while ranching but is serious about business and other producers’ questions. Doc’s operation, 499 Cattle Company, now has an annual stocking rate of about 500 pounds beef per acre of pasture and he grazes 12 months each year with no hay or farm equipment and less than two pounds of daily supplement. You can reach him by cell phone at (931) 256-0928 or at [email protected].

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