On January 9, 1887, ranchers endured the worst day of the “Great Die-Up.” The Great Die-Up—also called “Death’s Cattle Round-Up”—was one of the harshest winters in the “Old West,” and devastated the cattle industry in the United States.The severe winter followed an unusually hot and dry summer, when few crops could be grown. Together, these weather conditions meant ranchers throughout the Dakotas, Wyoming, and Montana had little food to feed their huge herds of cattle in the winter.More than 500,000 cattle died in horrific conditions during the winter of the Great Die-Up. One rancher recalled “It was all so slow, plunging after [cattle] through the deep snow. . . . The horses' feet were cut and bleeding from the heavy crust, and the cattle had the hair and hide wore off their legs to the knees.”
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry cattle Noun
cows and oxen.
Encyclopedic Entry: crop devastate Verb
group of animals.
leather skin of an animal.
activity that produces goods and services.
Old West Noun
time period that refers to the western part of North America in the 19th century.
person who owns or manages a livestock farm (ranch).
gathering of all the livestock on a ranch. Also called a muster.
state of the atmosphere, including temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind, humidity, precipitation, and cloudiness.
Encyclopedic Entry: weather