Don’t Bet On It
People are betting on everything these days. If I was a bookmaker, here are the odds I’d give for random events happening in the cattle business.
A trillion to one – the odds of cow farts causing hurricanes on the Gulf Coast, windswept fires in California, polar bears to die or crops to fail in Africa.
One billion to one – the likelihood the CME Group will voluntarily investigate shenanigans in the futures market.
One million to one – the probability fake meat will replace real meat in the American diet.
Five hundred thousand to one – the possibility no one will ever shoot holes in your water troughs.
One hundred thousand to one – if you’re a public lands rancher these are the odds against the Bureau of Land Management or the Forest Service ever increasing your animal unit months. The only raise you’ll ever get is in your grazing fees.
Ten thousand to one – the odds your wife will understand you need a break from the ranch and grant you permission to go on a week-long, drunken trail drive with your buddies.
One thousand to one – the chances your new pickup will go a year without getting a huge dent.
One thousand to one – the probability you’ll get lots of rain and a good calf market in the same year. I’ve heard this can actually happen but I don’t believe it.
Eight hundred to one – the odds the two heifers requiring C-sections this year will happen at the same time so it will only require one visit by your veterinarian.
Eight hundred to one – the possibility a range bull you bought will turn out to be an expected progeny difference (EPD) trait leader, and you get one-half of all semen sales.
Eight hundred to one – these are the same odds of a range bull you bought being a carrier for a deadly genetic defect like calves being born with an extra leg where the tail should be.
Seven hundred to one – if you’re a purebred breeder, these are the odds the macaroni salad or beans you serve at your bull sale lunch will result in giving food poisoning to all of your good buyers, but the one yahoo who never bid a single time and who ate half your donuts will sue you for a million bucks. I’ve only seen this happen once.
Six hundred to one – the chance the best cowdog you ever had gets run over by the propane truck driver.
One hundred to one – the possibility your new horse will break your arm, your wife’s leg and the hired man’s pelvis, and the day after you shot him a big time rodeo company will call wanting to buy the newly-deceased knothead for $25,000.
Two to one – the probability the day your ex-wife chooses as the day for your daughter to be married happens to fall on the same day your supplement salesman gave you tickets for front row seats at the National Finals Rodeo and an all expense trip to Vegas for you and your significant other.
Two to one – the odds you’ll get three inches of rain two days after you cut your hay.
Two to one – the likelihood on the day you trucked your calves to be sold at the sale barn a major disaster will occur like the Chinese giving us the first COVID-19 cow. Of course, the futures market will go down the limit and buyers will be as scarce as egg foo yung at Olive Garden.
Two to one – the odds your full hay barn will burn down when alfalfa is at its highest price ever.
Two to one – the odds the range bull you spent $10,000 on will spend the breeding season breeding your neighbor’s cows.
Even odds – the probability your cows will find an all-new hole in the fence bordering a major freeway on the morning the two of you had planned to start your first vacation in 45 years.
Even odds – the odds the package the postman would not deliver and had to be picked up in town an hour away will be the wrong part you ordered to fix the baler.
Even odds – one year after you sell your starve-out outfit for peanuts, oil will be discovered on it or an energy company will buy the place for $10 million to erect windmills or solar panels.