Zebus offer students experience with small size
by Hawkins Teague
Feb 20, 2008 | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
What is the easiest way to learn how to halterbreak a cow? Trigg County farmer Steve Herndon has an easy answer. Shrink them down to size.

Herndon is the owner of 75 zebu cows, which he said makes it the world’s largest. Herndon’s Web site, zebucows.com, says that zebus are among the oldest breeds of cattle in the world. They are naturally small, with a full grown adult measuring slightly more than knee height. They are native to India and besides being so small, are unusual-looking because of the large humps on their backs.

Herndon used to work for his uncle, Bob Bridges, who owned an even bigger (250 cows) farm in Florida. When Herndon moved back home to Trigg County in 2005, he started his farm. He recently decided that he wanted to start taking the zebus to shows, but he had a problem. Several of them weren’t halterbroken and Herndon hadn’t done it before. Then he got the idea to call the high school’s Future Farmers of America leader, Jodie P’Pool, and see if his students wanted a bit of hands-on learning.

P’Pool said that Herndon first mentioned the idea while he was buying lumber at Fourshee’s Building Supply, where Herndon works. Over the Christmas break, he visited Herndon and took a look at the farm. He decided that learning how to halterbreak the zebus would be a good experience for his animal science class. The class includes a large percentage of FFA members and a few others, he said. Unlike training regular cows, there wouldn’t be a risk of serious injury that would exist with normal cows. Since the class meets for an hour-and-a-half in the morning, they had had enough time to take the field trip out to the farm on Old Dover Road and spend about an hour with the cows before heading back to the school.

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