I suspect we will see more.
The main housed breeds are white (ok Durocs are tan) while the outdoor breeds (Wessex Saddlebacks, Berkshires, Hampshires, Large Blacks etc are black (ok Tamworths are tan).
I presume the white breeds suffer from exposure to cold or heat more.
I suspect we will see more.
Err, I don’t think the oxen are being used for breeding.
Yeah, I buy eggs from companies that assert they give the chickens access to pasture and enough space to do chicken things. But I have on idea how to check up on those claims.
Punctuation matters! …oxen COMMA and bulls used for breeding. Maybe that’s what was meant.
There are not many oxen used for labor in the US, except as a hobby. Even people who use animals to farm with mainly use draft horses. The previous owner of my farm had oxen – he used them to haul his maple sap wagon. He was a surgeon in real life, it was a tax shelter thing.
There are an awful lot of steers though – almost all male cattle are castrated as calves. And also quite a few beef bulls. Since beef cows are not normally gentled for handling like dairy cows, it is a lot easier to run a bull seasonally with your herd than to AI them like virtually all dairy cows are. Dairy bulls are very few, since one bull can service thousands of cows artificially.
You’d have to define “outdoor cat”. Last I read, feral cats live an average of two years (feral dogs more like a year). Cared-for house cats live 15 to 20 years.
Well, sure, there are lot of steers, but they don’t live very long.
My impression is that they spend most of their lives grazing on big expanses of (often federal) land, and only get confined for the last couple of months. That doesn’t seem like a terrible life for a bovine.
My cared-for indoor-outdoor cat lived about 19 years.
Indeed, we had a barn cat that was 15 when we noticed him dropping weight. Diagnosed with diabetes, we took him inside and started him on insulin. He died at 17.
However, I think our cats are outliers.
Depending on the size of the company, they may be on the Cornucopia score cards (link above.)
If they’re small and local, you may be able to talk with them directly, and/or to drive by the place and see if there do seem to be critters outdoors, though they might be out and you might not see them (I used to know one place where they opened the barns in the morning and the chickens all ran out into the woods for the day.) A reluctance to give tours to curious customers isn’t necessarily a warning sign; there are genuine livestock disease transferral risks, and the farm may not have time to deal with giving tours, and/or might be concerned about clueless misbehavior endangering the livestock and/or the visitors.
Some marketing outlets have their own rules on the subject, and may have done their own inspections.
Mine have mostly ranged from 16 to early 20’s.
It can depend a great deal on where you live; but for those living in a reasonably safe location in which to let cats out, I think it’s pretty common – at least for those who do take the cats to the vet.