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Wild West Cowboy Facts

Cattle Die-up, Judas Steer


Here are some cowboy terms directly related to cattle ranching in the American wild west.

Die-Up

Cowboys all feared the dreaded die-up, when a bad blizzard or prolonged drought would kill mass amounts of cattle, sometimes the entire herd.



Judas Steer
Part of the cowboy's job during the drive was to identify the Judas steer. Once at the end of the trail, the Judas could simply lead the other cattle to slaughter with no hassle. If a particularly good Judas was found, he was spared the meat hook and used again.

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