we heard bellowing that paddock is surrounded on three sides by a little river the day before I had noted that two of the black cows had calved today I could only detect one calf, plus a bellowing cow there was a lost calf as we moved towards the paddock we passed the whole herd they were quite spooky they tended to feign fear at our presence and take off in the direction we were travelling then we passed the herd and got to the river if there was a new born calf down the riverbank it would be very difficult to locate just then a group of cows including a black one began to gallop towards us we knew that the ony hope would be for the mother to indicate the true location of the calf well she stopped twenty metres short of us and stared down the cliff that was it! we headed over to that position and sure enough, two metres below us, a tiny black calf was standing in the water silently as her mother resumed her bellowing in the company of the calf's aunties the next 10 minutes was spent trying to get the calf up the steep bank where its mother and her friends were waiting impatiently and anxiously and noisily they communicated the whole time, both calf and mother finally, as a farmer tried to catch his breath, the calf lay on the paddock, catching hers
a moment later the calf found its feet and went dancing off with mother and aunties and was met by the rest of the herd who frollicked with pleasure and relief they took it in turns to lick the calf and nudge it lovingly its mother was meanwhile giving it a lesson on how close to the bank a small calf may go
we walked back through the herd and said you're welcome, you're welcome, as they wanted to thanks us with sloppy kisses and friendly gestures my squelchy boots and sopping jeans bore witness to an unexpected river exercise, and we began the trek home again to the beautiful emotions of our fellow mammals
those emotions were undeniable and freely expressed and after the initial trauma and struggle my partner snapped some photos to tell the story
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Emile Spore wrote: Was talking about compassionate cows at the dairy today. Boss was like "what is a compassionate cow" a minute later as he was washing her bag, she turned her head and licked and kissed his hand.
I know someone who had a small commercial dairy with mostly Ayrshires, but they also have a small herd of Dexters, and my friend says the Dexters are uncanny smart.
posted 9 years ago
The cow we care for in the winter likes to attack the manure cart when I'm cleaning her paddock. That makes the job much more difficult. So one day I'd had enough and enticed Rain to put her head in the stanchion with a little grain and locked her in there. Then I laughed at her being stuck in the stanchion while I quickly cleaned her stall and paddock.
That evening when I was milking her she calmly placed a foot in the milkbucket. I was half way through milking so I cleaned the pail and resumed. Again, the foot went in the bucket and she ruined the rest of the milk. I realized that she was expressing her feelings about being laughed at. So I apologized and never did that to her again. I did tie her up, but never laughed. That was the only time in four winters caring for Rain that she ruined the milk. Yes, cows do express themselves.
Do you hear cows cry while being slaughtered? Or do you witness this sort of bellowing when cows don't come back from slaughtering?
Cows are such beautiful beings, along with all other animals.
I saw a hawk swoop down through the woods and snatch a squirrel. The hawk and the squirrel fell in a spiral down towards the earth until the hawk caught its balance and flew out of there.
For over 2 hours I heard the screech of the squirrels lover crying for the hawk to return with her mate. Or maybe for someone to seek revenge, or maybe just grieving that her lover was eaten by a true carnivore.
Absolutely they do have emotions and display them and are very intelligent and mess with you as anuttama mentioned. I work on a raw milk dairy with 10 Jerseys, a black Angus bull, a barren red Angus heifer, and 3 Angus cross calves. This is my first experience with cows. They are so curious. We named one of the new ones CC (curious cow) Georgette, b/c she was so interested in everything we were doing. I know I am not just anthropomorphizing them either. We have them split into three groups and whenever we mix the groups due to drying up, or time with the bull, or whatever they act so different. They show affection and pleasure as well as impatience and disgust. They communicate with varying bellows and grunts and sighs. A lot of fun. I heard that Jerseys are particularly smart, but it might just be their pretty eyes
What wonderful heart-warming stories (except Jason's which was SO sad). Yes we used to live next to a field of summer cows and whenever one had a calf, all the others would rush over and have a look, and I swear they would say "Oh isn't he/she lovely. You did so well" just like humans cooing over newborns.
This is the bit that I'm worried about if we get a cow for milking - I just don't know that I can bear that awful day when baby has to go. Someone told me the other day of a place in the UK where they don't sell or slaughter any of their cows - they just keep them all. I just LOVE cows - maybe too much to have any myself
posted 9 years ago
Amazing cow stories! I've heard other stories of cows letting humans know that another cow or calf is in trouble. They are SMART. I get frustrated with the stereotype of "stupid cows." But, I get to hang out with Jerseys and I hear from lots of people they are especially smart.
The more time I spend with our Jersey girls the more I believe this to be true. It takes time to get to know a cow's body language. They aren't as openly expressive as horses but they are extremely sensitive, and once you know how to read them they tell you more every day. I'm totally still learning but I'm waaaay better at it than I was six months ago.
It's hard to explain to people who haven't been around cows that they have feelings, and some people get kind of offended if you tell them that their mere presence is stressing the cow. They can't see that she's stressed because they've only seen stressed cows who are wondering 'who is this strange person staring at me??' Once a cow gets to know your smell and accepts your presence (and I find with jerseys it takes weeks of daily interaction), they relax, and then you can start to tell the difference between a stressed cow and a relaxed cow. Relaxed cows are really fun to be around, but you can't rush the process.
One of our cows is such a licker. She licks and licks and licks me especially, comes over to the fence to be scratched. Our new cow is still getting used to us, but I really want her to like me. Routine seems to be very important especially for a milking cow. If the routine changes at all, we predictably get less milk that day.
I ask visitors to not look at our cows directly. They're kind of like gorillas, they see two eyes staring at them and think "PREDATOR ALERT!!!" It makes them more comfortable if we look off to the side, to slowly approach in a zig zag rather than walking in a direct straight line toward them. Our first cow, the licker, was pretty dang feral when we bought her, didn't want to have much to do with humans at all. I learned a lot about what scares a cow and what sets them at ease thru our interactions and it's a lot easier with the second cow.
It takes a lot of patience, time, and repetition before they trust that you aren't going to eat them or their baby. Well, in our current milker's case, we are going to eat her baby, but only when he's not a baby anymore. There's such a difference between a calf and a steer. I don't think we'll have a problem dispatching him a few years from now.
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