Monday, December 4, 2023


Stinky cow poop around Yuma


By Chuck Woodbury
Gail and I were driving on old highway 80 east of Wellton, Arizona. It’s a service road these days along I-8. Yuma is about 25 miles west, hugging the California border.

About five miles east of Wellton we got our first whiff of cows. A stockyard was coming up, I just knew it. I was right. Oh my goodness, there were more cows than you would ever expect to see in one place! Gail said I should call them cattle. I know I should, but I forget. To me a cow is a cow. 

The stockyard must cover a square mile. You can see from the aerial photo below (thanks, Google) how big it is. I drove up to the fence to take pictures. Gail mooed like a cow and the cows just came running. I don’t think they were thinking of anything. Cows are not known for their smarts.

ANYWAY, THE SMELL WAS HORRIBLE, real stinky. I could see about 10 houses within smelling distance of the stockyard. I said to Gail that I bet that when the people who live in those houses have guests who mention the terrible smell, they probably say, “Oh, I don’t smell anything.”

The brown area is the stockyard.

The population of Yuma is 91,000. According to the 2015 Arizona State Agriculture Overview, there are about 911,000 cattle in the area. That’s roughly ten to one — cows to people. I said to Gail, “That’s a lot of hamburger.”

I think most of these cows are in this particular cattle yard. Let’s say, just guessing, that there are 600,000. According to Google a cow produces 65 pounds of poop a day. So that’s 37,000 pounds, or more than 18 tons. That’s one and a half times the weight of my 32-foot motorhome — every single day. That’s a whole lot of poopy!

I’m going to take a wild guess and say there are also 2 billion flies.

If you paid me a million dollars to live close to that cattle yard for, say, five years, I’d have to think twice. No, I don’t think I would do it. Maybe for two million.


Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.



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Yosarian (@guest_64246)
3 years ago

Love that stinky stink.

Venny (@guest_56402)
4 years ago

Don’t forget to factor in that these cows also pee! I’ve smelled it in Bakersfield, California, as well — where cattle are raised to produce milk for the local ice cream factory.

Bob Frank (@guest_5115)
6 years ago

Each time we drive across I10 west of El Paso we see (and smell) the same thing but I read somewhere that the El Paso stink is milk cows. Seems to smell the same, though.

Larry (@guest_4592)
6 years ago

Hiya Chuck,
We’re here in Tacna, AZ , been here a couple months Sometimes get that smell from the feedlot over by Wellton. I was raised in Kansas, around cattle, hogs, chickens, etc. They say ya get used to it………NOT! ?

Richard Gibbs (@guest_4537)
6 years ago

Just wanted to let you know, I’m in Wellton, not far from Tacna and we sometimes get a smell of the feed yard. To me it’s like being home and a smell I almost miss. I’m from Carnation WA and the smell there is now gone but that smell (to me it’s a clean smell) here brings me back to Carnation. I love the extra sunshine you get down here but go back to Carnation for my summers. It’s kind of the best of both worlds. The smell you talk of is not really that bad if you just change your own mental picture of it. By the way, I hope you had a chance to stop into Jac’s Whistle Stop, the food there is very good, especially the French dip.

William D Conley (@guest_4517)
6 years ago

You evidently believe hamburger comes in frozen patties at the supermarket and do not realize that there are feedlots….I am simply amazed at ignorance…it’s only in dusty back water Arizona that has them….they aren’t in the Midwest or Texas and there were never feedlots in Chicago and South St Paul MN….

Chuck Woodbury (@guest_4523)
6 years ago

No, hamburger comes from space aliens. Oh, Mr. Conley, lighten up. This isn’t ignorance, it’s just an attempt at humor. You didn’t get it. No problem.

Arlene Wood (@guest_4483)
6 years ago

Hi Chuck,
We love your comments regarding living in a small space. We too, have a 32 foot Coachmen Leprechaun C (which we figure makes our living space about 5′ shorter), but we have been full timers for 4 years and have never looked back. We too would like a washer and dryer and maybe 1 and a half baths, but are very happy in our current home. We are currently staying in Yuma Lakes RV Resort (a RCA membership park) and we love it. We just missed you in Parker at the River Island State Park, we were staying I Havasu Springs, but hope to meet you some time.

See you down the road maybe,

Rob and Arlene

JIM (@guest_4469)
6 years ago

Chuck, I wonder how many man hours and truck loads are needed to clean up?


Chuck Woodbury (@guest_4467)
6 years ago

Yeah, my math is probably wrong. I guess I should have just said it’s a lot of poop.


Lou (@guest_4466)
6 years ago

Chuck, I have to question your ability to count cows and your math. According to news reports, the capacity of the JBS/ McElhaney lot at Welton is 130,000 head. The daily production per animal of 65 pounds of manure is over 2/3 water. However, 65 lbs X 130,000 head = 8,450,00 lbs or 4225 tons every day

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