Most of us don’t think of Mongolia as cattle country, but I did see at least a few most places I went. Needless to say, they are as hardy as the other animals the herders keep. There are a number of breeds and they have also been crossed with yaks to create a hybrid the Mongolians call a Hainag. Here are some that I saw when I was at Ikh Nartiin Chuluu Nature Reserve in spring of 2005.
This cow and calf were part of a group that were coming down to the stream for water.
Here’s a black cow who looked me over for a minute.
And, of the most interest to me, since it demonstrates the competition wildlife can face from domestic stock, are a couple of argali down at the same stream with the cattle.
When I was in western Mongolia in Sept./Oct. of 2006 we stopped at a ger and I took a number of pictures, including a few of this beautifully dressed woman and her cattle. The man was one of my guides. As it turned out, what I had photographed was him buying milk…for us! When we were back in the van and on our way, I was offered a swig of milk, warm and right out of the cow. It was the best milk I’d ever tasted! It was also the first time this town-raised girl had ever had milk that wasn’t out of a carton. And no, I didn’t “pay” for it later, fortunately.