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Thread: Big Cows vs. Little Cows

  1. #31
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    they may be smaller than Aurochs but many wild cattle are smaller and have been bred up in size. Horses too, and dogs both ways.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  2. #32
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    In a colder climate, the larger cows would be more thermally efficient. In a warmer climate they might have issues shedding heat. There is a "law" stating that wildlife (within any given species) get bigger the further north one goes - so the average moose in Colorado would be smaller than the average moose in Saskatchewan, for example. I used to know the name of the "law" but have since forgotten, but the idea is that the larger organisms retain heat more effectively, giving them a competitive advantage in very cold environments.

    There are very large animals in some very hot environments (elephants, Cape buffalo), but many of them have physical or behavioral features to help them shed heat (radiator ears, mud wallowing) that cows either don't have or which could make it the cows harder to work with.

    In the case of the OP, gravity may be one factor, but heat retention or shedding can also be a very significant thing to manage when considering different size animals.

  3. #33
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    that's true for wild animals but we have been managing domesticated ones for centuries, bringing cows indoors in the winter and providing houses or shelters. Modern big cows make too much milk for a homestead, they are bred for modern farming. Cows seem to be tougher than horses but hill ponies are out in all weathers and much smaller. So in domesticated breeds there are all those convenience factors that have been carefully bred with good controls for many years. That's true for all food animals and they differ from their wild cousins.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  4. #34
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    LARGE DOGS DIE YOUNG

    big dogs just do not live long G danes 8 years mastiffs about the same
    while mini dogs live far longer even if yappy and a pain to own
    perhaps not a big deal in a meat animal
    but for breeding or milking bigger is not better if they are dead quicker

  5. #35
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    Dalmatians are quite big and outlive many smaller dogs, Great Danes are an example but arguing from the particular to the general is not valid. Overall big animals live longer than small animals but again it's not a useful rule for particular cases. Those naked rats!
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  6. #36
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    Ok ok ok... This isn't exactly it, but it came on my mind when I first saw the thread title.

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    CJSF
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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by nota View Post
    LARGE DOGS DIE YOUNG

    big dogs just do not live long G danes 8 years mastiffs about the same
    while mini dogs live far longer even if yappy and a pain to own
    perhaps not a big deal in a meat animal
    but for breeding or milking bigger is not better if they are dead quicker
    Right. Artificial breeding for size will certainly run up against some hard laws of physics. Those dogs haven't had millennia to evolve the circulatory and skeletal adaptations to handle that size.

    But the premise of the thread is about breeding in the 1/6th gravity of the Moon. You wouldn't do that with cows here on Earth.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJSF View Post
    Ok ok ok... This isn't exactly it, but it came on my mind when I first saw the thread title.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXypyrutq_M

    CJSF
    Indeed. The Moon only has a horizon only 2.5km away. Maybe the cows aren't large, they're just very near by!

  9. #39
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    many animals have had successful smaller version bred by man or nature
    key deer or mini mammoths by island enviro's lots of mini horses donkeys cows pigs ect

    have a hard time thinking of an animal with successful huge size variations bred large not just a bit bigger

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by nota View Post
    many animals have had successful smaller version bred by man or nature
    key deer or mini mammoths by island enviro's lots of mini horses donkeys cows pigs ect

    have a hard time thinking of an animal with successful huge size variations bred large not just a bit bigger
    I'm not sure how to parse what you're saying. Are you looking for animals that adapted to be much larger than before?

    Well, prehistoric horses were very small.


  11. #41
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    yes but over a very long time period for the horse and in small steps in bigger sizes
    afaik nobody has bred a much bigger horse beyond a draft horse size
    while there are mini horses bred today no maxi horse breeding beyond a draft horse size

    point being smaller is eazy bigger has limits to health and life span

  12. #42
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    Prehistoric horses were a different species. Dogs and horses have been bred up and down in size, now having a size range of about 1.5 orders of magnitude. Horse breeding has managed about the same range.

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  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by nota View Post
    yes but over a very long time period for the horse and in small steps in bigger sizes
    afaik nobody has bred a much bigger horse beyond a draft horse size
    while there are mini horses bred today no maxi horse breeding beyond a draft horse size

    point being smaller is eazy bigger has limits to health and life span
    No I think the draft horse just got over taken by the ic engine so our lovely Suffolk punch horses are vanishing. Many large animals have long lives, I think you are still arguing from particular cases toward general principles.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  14. #44
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    Pro, on the other hand just two horses can absolutely wreck an entire block long length of street when they really have to poo.
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  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Pro, on the other hand just two horses can absolutely wreck an entire block long length of street when they really have to poo.
    Ha yes I am reminded about futurologists calculating our cities would disappear under the accumulation. As mentioned before I had the experience of working in woods with a horse, voice trained, it is a treasured memory.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  16. #46
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    Pro, I can imagine that would be!

    And the futurists back then only prove that you don't know what you don't know.
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  17. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    Meat production on a lunar (or any other extraterrestrial colony) makes essentially no sense from the point of view of efficient use of resources: meat is not needed for adequate nutrition. Consider that a cow would use about the same amount of resources as ten people.
    I've bred all sorts of small animals, for decades.

    Allow me to assure you that in terms of nutrition in a canned environment, adequate is nowhere near optimal. Adequate merely means at a level not to produce symptoms of malnourishment. Like your basic RDA's of vitamins. Adequate does not mean thrive, it means not die.

    Also, you seem to think there is going to be some sort of "huddled masses" situation on any extraterrestrial colony in the Sol system. That won't happen for *centuries* if at all, and we're coming up with vat food *now*.

    But, going back to the "takes up the resources of ten people" comment. What's your point? That you could send ten more people? What if you don't need ten more people on your Lunar colony? The point isn't to shed excess Earth population onto other orbital bodies you know.
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  18. #48
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    all this focus on meat, what about bread, rice etc?
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  19. #49
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    one problem regarding keeping cows on the moon, is the extended trajectory of rear end expelations.....the other cows will need goggles.
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  20. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudskipper View Post
    all this focus on meat, what about bread, rice etc?
    Just add bacon, and all will be good


    Hydroponics. I’d miss citrus more than beef

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  21. #51
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    If we decide to grow cows, then eating moon meat would require the demise of lunar live stock. If we have small cows, which we have here on Earth (miniature cattle), then their pet-like aspects add social stress at the dinner table. Making them extra large, allowed by diminished gravity, would make them a novelty, adding stress at the dinner table.

    If the cost to build large grazing facilities is low enough, then it may be cheaper to raise them on the Moon, thus benefiting from other cow things like fertilizer, leather, etc.
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  22. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    If we decide to grow cows, then eating moon meat would require the demise of lunar live stock. If we have small cows, which we have here on Earth (miniature cattle), then their pet-like aspects add social stress at the dinner table. Making them extra large, allowed by diminished gravity, would make them a novelty, adding stress at the dinner table.

    If the cost to build large grazing facilities is low enough, then it may be cheaper to raise them on the Moon, thus benefiting from other cow things like fertilizer, leather, etc.
    Lambs are cute, and people eat them all the time. So are kids (baby goats) and rabbits. They're all tasty.

    Actually, either sheep or goats would make more sense than cattle.

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  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    Lambs are cute, and people eat them all the time. So are kids (baby goats) and rabbits. They're all tasty.

    Actually, either sheep or goats would make more sense than cattle.
    The discussion is basically about meat. Sheep and goats will do. Livestock of any sort. Let's not forget poultry. In the light Lunar gravity we may yet finally invent the boneless chicken. But then you run into overhead again. (Smaller pens, etc, etc,)

    But again, Earth is only three days away. Whatever they eat on the ISS, they'll eat on the Moon for the foreseeable future.
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  24. #54
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    Double post.
    Last edited by BigDon; 2018-Jan-03 at 03:53 PM. Reason: Double post
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  25. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    The discussion is basically about meat. Sheep and goats will do. Livestock of any sort. Let's not forget poultry. In the light Lunar gravity we may yet finally invent the boneless chicken. But then you run into overhead again. (Smaller pens, etc, etc,)

    But again, Earth is only three days away. Whatever they eat on the ISS, they'll eat on the Moon for the foreseeable future.
    Why pens? Just let them wander about. Of course, you will need to be aware goats climb trees...
    Last edited by swampyankee; 2018-Jan-03 at 10:14 PM.

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  26. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by Mudskipper View Post
    all this focus on meat, what about bread, rice etc?
    Some plants will be good choices for hydroponics such as lettuce, spinach any thing you eat the leafs of. When you have a plant that you eat the seeds or the seed pods of you need to pollinate the plant either you bring the insects that do the pollination, do it yourself or build a robot to do it for you. There are some plants that wind pollinate such as corn, probably wheat and rice as well.
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  27. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by astrotimer View Post
    Some plants will be good choices for hydroponics such as lettuce, spinach any thing you eat the leafs of. When you have a plant that you eat the seeds or the seed pods of you need to pollinate the plant either you bring the insects that do the pollination, do it yourself or build a robot to do it for you. There are some plants that wind pollinate such as corn, probably wheat and rice as well.
    If I remember botany class, all grasses wind pollinate.

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  28. #58
    Never took a botany class but I thought so.
    Last edited by The Backroad Astronomer; 2018-Jan-04 at 02:10 AM.
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  29. #59
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    oilseedrape also pollinates with wind as well as insects.

    have any experiments been done on how bees might perform in 1/5 gravity?
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  30. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudskipper View Post
    oilseedrape also pollinates with wind as well as insects.

    have any experiments been done on how bees might perform in 1/5 gravity?
    or without the Sun for navigation

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