Friday, March 22, 2013

Your Handy Dandy Reference Guide

Yesterday at the farm I was privy to some rather amusing conversations about farm stuff. One of the conversations was regarding the differences between bulls, steers, and oxen. One member of the conversation was sure that castration would stop the steers from growing. In order that you don't end up sounding like a goofball in times like these, here is a handy dandy reference guide to the nuances of farm animal classifications. I'm sure you're dying to know.

The Cow

Bull: a male cow
Heifer: a young female cow (before having a calf)
Steer: a male cow that has had his dangling bits removed
Cow: generic term, but also refers to a female cow that has calved
Ox: a steer of any breed that has been trained to work

The Chicken

Rooster: a male chicken
Capon: a castrated male rooster (you have to wonder who ever got the idea to do that to a rooster anyway...)
Pullet: a young female chicken
Hen: a female chicken

The Pig

Boar: a male pig
Sow: a female pig that has had a litter
Piglet: a very young pig, before being weaned (I just learned this one...even though the pigs at the farm are little, they are weaned and 10-12 weeks old, therefore qualifying as 'pigs'

Which reminds me...when we were in college we used to occasionally eat at a place called the "Pork Barrel Cafe" which was in a double wide trailer and wallpapered with newspaper clippings about pigs. It was a classy joint. Amazingly, there were actually separate bathrooms for men and women. I say amazingly, because we are talking about a place whose menus are supplied in a magic marker scrawled school folder. The signs on the doors differentiated between 'Boars' and 'Sows'. On one visit, we saw two women who had no doubt stopped to fill up at the 'Last Chance Gas Station' before heading out into the wilds of Utah. The women stood in front of the doors, trying to determine which door they should use: boars or sows?

1 comment:

Terry and Linda said...

We call weaned piglets Weaners, they don't stay weaners very long! What a cool time you are having!