castrating, moon phases, and signs

Dorothy J. Cattle (cattledj@WFU.EDU)
Mon, 9 Oct 1995 14:01:55 -0400

Dear Listmembers,
For those of you hankering for a new topic here is one which is active
on another list I belong to. Cattle producers have gotten into a discussion
about what their grandparents and parents said about the timing of castration
of bull calves. Here are some of the things said or queried.
--castrating in relation to or as affected by the phases of the moon:
which phases favor castration, less bleeding, less swelling,
faster recovery?
--castrating in relation to where the blood will be: heart or feet
--doing things involving bleeding when the sign was in the heels or was
--working cattle by the almanac
--subtopics: scrotal drainage and the moon phases; blood & bleeding;
weather change and fronts in relation to animals and their recovery
from such procedures as castration; working with signs; luck and
horseshoes [how they're hung...] and the luck draining out

The list members are some of the most experienced people in livestock
research and in cattle production. They have also expressed an interest
in how these types of things (concepts of luck, folk knowledge, etc.)
vary culturally. I was wondering if any anthro. list members remember any
such wisdom from their grandparents (please indicate
location or background) or have studied moon phases/signs/almanac usage
in relation to livestock production. Are there any sources or articles
that would be germane? For example, I asked an MD from southcentral
Nebraska and he said his dad did things with the larger animals by the
phases of the moon but that smaller animals like pigs were just done when
it needed to be done. He also said he didn't like a rotation in the
emergency room when the moon was full.
If you want to e-mail me directly, that would be fine. I want to compile some type of contribution to that
other list. Thanks.