Hi. I've learned a lot from this forum, now I have a question.
There's a herd of friendly cows in a field near me, and also a young bull. When stroking the cows I would offer the bull handfulls of hay so he wouldn't see me as a threat, he eventually became curious about the head scratches I was giving another cow and now he enjoys a good brushing.
However the last time I saw him he was bouncing around in front of me (see video from 0:22) Can someone tell me if this was threatening or playful (either way I was glad to get away unharmed!)
Don't rub or pet his forehead that's asking for trouble. Petting the forehead will translate as, "I want to butt heads with you". I think he is too forward with people now and dangerous. I like my bulls to see me as a non-threatening feeding machine, not playmate. Young bulls play then they get serious, either way, even if its play human bones will break.
Post by sdmilkmaid on Jul 21, 2019 17:50:20 GMT -5
He is a bull, so playing and fighting are the same thing. He is DEMANDING more head scratches, which is a very bad idea with a bull. YOU invited him to play/fight, and he accepted, then upped the ante. Are they your cattle? If not, you shouldn't have been trespassing, petting, and feeding someone else's stock. As a longtime owner and handler of cattle, horses, goats, and a couple donkeys, I strongly suggest you never enter that field again. If you do, you are very likely to not survive. And you owe the owner of the bull an apology for giving the bull very bad ideas about how to interact with humans, making him a dangerous bull instead of a mellow one. Rachel DanMa, do you have anything to add?
Me, my Hubby, and four Littles one horse - Cappy A burgeoning goat herd 35+ British White and Angus mama cows, and several bulls My milk cows: Faith, Chick and Freckles Heifers coming up - Dolly Dixie RIP
There's little difference between fighting and playing when it comes to a bull or any. Either way you're going to end up on the losing end of the deal and your insides will likely become your outside. I've never raised a bowl with the intention of being able to brush and pet him and don't recommend it because as you can see they start to associate you as another cow which can be played with intimidated or fought for position and not as a omnipotent all powerful boss creature
They said it. And I've known two people killed by bulls, and several "almosts." In the "almost" category was a man who boasted that human contact was the key to an easily handled bull- they are calves one day and bulls the next.He had to shoot the bull from the seat of tractor as it beat up the tractor. There is never any bull to be trusted. I'd also say any cow with horns- even an innocent fly swat can crack ribs. We once kept a pair of ayreshire bulls from really good stock. they had a long pen. I remember feeding them in that pen every day until one of them shoved me up against the wall with a look in his eye I remember to this day. These are serious life threatening risks.
Thanks for all the replies, I shall heed your advice. They're not my cattle, however six (including the bull) recently escaped onto a cycle path which led to a busy road, I just happened to be passing and was able to coax them into another field until the police & farmer arrived. The farmer didn't mind that I knew his cows and was telling me their names, said he was happy for me to pet them as long as I was aware of the risk. Perhaps he was being specific about petting the cows and NOT the bull.
But since then I've been reading this forum and along with your replies, I realised I've messed up. I'll consider myself very lucky.
nathanjay... Do you see what he's doing to your backpack? That's what he'd like to do to you... with considerably more enthusiasm and vigor. You are indeed lucky and, I must say, foolish. Please please please stay on the proper side of the fence, keep your hands to yourself, and be aware from now on that a bull --or, for that matter, a cow that you haven't been properly introduced to is NOT A PET. A cow can kill you just as easily as a bull. I've been taken down by a cow. I was caught off guard, she cornered me, nailed me as I was attempting to climb over a rail fence, and nearly broke both my legs. All because I happened to brush her calf's ear with my hand. I was incredibly lucky.
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My 6 Jersey Girls: Skye, Topaz, Emmie, Fiona, Sapphire, and Valley! Avitus, Red Mini Jersey Bull 4 McNabs--a veritable herd! Too many cats Spoiled Rotten Hens & King Roo Angus cows Angus Bulls
Post by westxgrl13 on Jul 21, 2019 21:07:37 GMT -5
Howdy from West Texas! I'm glad you got on here to ask your questions. There's a whole lotta wisdom on this forum.
As long as you have learned your lesson (especially about messing with other peoples' livestock, which is not kosher, nor is crawling over the fence--that's pure-dee trespassing), it isn't a total loss; but please remember from here on out that what you saw as innocent fun might turn deadly for someone who doesn't know you have been "teaching" this bull to disrespect people. I, too, have known people hurt or killed by cattle; cattle are not pets. When my milk cow has calves, whether her own or dogies grafted on, I do not pet the bull calves on the head, or give them scratches on the face or anywhere in front of their shoulders. They learn respect, and know they will get an open-handed smack on the neck or back if they invade my "bubble". Yes, calves and cows are cute--but they are livestock and must be treated as such. Especially bulls. Their role in life is to get to breed the cows and pass on their genes, so they are deadly serious about winning--and to a bovine, that means fighting. And several hundred pounds of "I'm going to roughhouse with your frail little human body" is not a good thing.
I'm embarrassed to say that I have an aunt (by marriage) who messes with her neighbors' cows and calves over the fence. She even buys a sack of cubes sometimes and will feed them by hand. She has taught her grandchildren that it's great fun to go to the fence and get the cows to come up to eat cubes. She sees nothing wrong with that, but how does the owner feel? That would be like going in the hospital and cavalierly feeding someone who is supposed to be fasting before tests or surgery, flouting doctor's orders. Not her place to feed them ANYTHING, and most especially not inadvertently train them to do things that the owner doesn't know about.
You do score big brownie points, nathanjay, for asking! I like your statement, "I shall heed your advice." Good for you!
Last Edit: Jul 21, 2019 21:08:53 GMT -5 by westxgrl13
Wife to the Greatest Husband Ever, Mother of Three Awesome Daughters, Mother-in-Law to Two Amazing Sons-in-Law, The Most Precious Grandson and Granddaughter Ever, Rancher/"Zoo-Keeper" of Hereford Cattle, Angora Goats, Remuda of Horses, Two Border Collies, One Mini-Aussie, A Duke's Mixture of Chickens, Seven Ducks (Rouen), and One Sweet Mini-Jersey named Katy Kow!
Post by Meadow Creek Mama on Jul 21, 2019 21:33:49 GMT -5
Enough said above. I'll add that when I touch my cow's heads, I scratch under their eyes, not on top of their heads. Even heifer calves. Even the calm cows without horns can be triggered into the bully behavior just by rubbing up on top of their head.
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulations; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33
Homestead wife and mom to three kiddos. 3 Jerseys: 2 milk cows (Tirzah & Bella) and 1 heifer calf (Charlotte) Lots of laying hens with roosters A flock of broilers every year 2 Tamworth pigs this year 1 Malamute mix-RIP Rowdy 1-12-20 3 Barn Cats
He’s being a yearling and playing with yearling antics. Heifers can easily do the same.
The problem with bulls is that, especially when they’re older, their hormones can make them switch from play to serious in an instant. Plus their play is generally way tougher than we can handle anyway. Always best to just let them be.
I take it from your accent you’re in England? In which case few people on the North American side of the pond will realize how public paths can run right through people’s fields. The general population has the right of way to be on paths in a farmers field, regardless of livestock. Chances are that bull calf - and the entire herd - have been raised with people walking right beside and right in their fields with them. It will lead to completely different behaviour than if someone randomly walked into a field here.
I just want to add, just because someone owns livestock doesn't mean they have good sense. My cows are friendly and want to be lap dogs, but I always have something sturdy to duck behind when I mess with them. When I say sturdy I mean car, tractor, barn or large tree. Most of the time I feed them with a fence between us. I don't remember the title but there is a thread where everyone is talking about injuries they received from their own gentle livestock and it's quite sobering. I expected broken bones but stitches and organ damage not so much. Anyway, there's no way that owner should of been so cavalier about letting you fiddle with his cows. In the US even if you shouldn't be liable you have to prove it in a lengthy expensive court process when something goes wrong. On a side note, I like to pet cows too, and have been doing so from inside of my truck, just don't tell my DH why the side view mirror is dangling and where did all those little dents come from.
Post by jerseyrose on Jul 22, 2019 14:14:15 GMT -5
You are a very lucky man! I don't even pet my adult breeding bucks for the same reason.
Julie wife, mom to 3 wonderful ( now adult) kids :-)
Currently Cow-less for the first time in 11 years RIP-- Rose-Jersey RIP-- Abby - Jersey Rosie-- Jersey past family cow Lily -- Angus / Jersey past family cow 2 appaloosas- Candy, Sierra 3 dogs--Tess, Sunny, Mia a herd of 22 Boer goats a variety of chickens
Sorry but if they are not your animals you should not be touching any of them or offering hay. I agree with the others You are lucky, a bull, any bull is not just showing yearling antics they are dangerous.
Agree, very good you were able to get out of that field in one piece. Bulls kill very experienced farmers every year. We keep bulls because we have no other choice for breeding but never ever do we get on the same side of the fence!!!
He thinks you are equals. Playmates then rivals for the cows affection. Stay out of the pasture or he will take you out. My bull (yearling)is friendly but I still watch him carefully. I make sure he never forgets I am the boss cow and he is several notches below me. If he tried smashing my backpack, I would schedule him a date to go to the freezer. You messed up in several ways. Dont mess with the top of their head. That is inviting them to spar. I'm sure his head is harder than yours.
I will vouch for what the others have said. My brother used to keep a bull or borrow one. He and sil had one they raised and they bragged about how friendly and docile he was. And he was, until he wasn't. He was older which meant he was HUGE. He went to the freezer. If I were you, I think I would show that video to the owner. He might want to rethink having a bull with horns any where near people now.
Just saw this video. That was scary. I do not trust the bulls. I do trust my two wanna be oxen, but am always ready to defend myself with those two also. I prefer there not be a newspaper article about me being found in some pasture. :-)
Brenda Wife for 38 years to best farmer/rancher Mom to a daughter and 2 sons Grandma to 5 boys & 3 girls Della and baby Daisy jerseys Lola and baby no name jerseys Arabians Candy, Moon & CK 8 y.o. Sheltie Louie 4 y.o. Sully English Shepherd barn kitties & 1 privileged house cat, Miss Jane Hathaway
Post by grammagrace on Jul 25, 2019 23:25:22 GMT -5
Plenty good advice. Welcome to the forum nathanjay We do scratch my milk cows heads. The do not see it as anything but scratches. They do not flop their heads while being loved. Bulls are another story. Our charolais bull does get scratches from the other side of a sturdy fence. He stops approaching when told if someone is in the lot or pasture. But he's not totally trusted. The Herefords we had in the past were really laid back boys. They weren't pets and they paid no attention to us when we were in the pasture unless we had food for them. The video bull was playing. That time. I agree that the owner needs to know about his behavior too. If people do walk through the field that bull is now a danger to them. Playing could still get someone hurt. Or worse especially if they ran from him.
claytonpaul: A bull was put on her herd Late Last May so she was expected to be due between May1 and August. They quoted me August so I wouldn't be disappointing by a late arrival.
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