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Cows and calves

WaysideWayside Posts: 807
edited July 2018 in Problem solving
Walked past a field of cows yesterday with their young.  Luckily I was separated by fencing.  The mothers were still very protective.  I tried to tempt the little ones over for a stroke, and being the curious beasts that they are, they did approach me.  But their mums were not impressed at all, and were quick to move them away from me.

I'm never that comfortable crossing a field with livestock.  When I was younger it didn't really bother me, but after hearing a couple of bad tales, I now try to avoid if at all possible.  I did try and research some stats via .  There are many killed by cows - mainly farmers by all accounts.  But I couldn't really find any info on as to how to calm cows or what to do if attacked.

I'm not sure if cries of "I'm a vegetarian!" will be that great a deterrent.  Any advice?


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,387
    Don't go in a field with livestock in it. Safer for you and safer for the livestock.
  • WaysideWayside Posts: 807
    edited July 2018
    Sometimes when cycling, there isn't really an alternative than heading through land that has animals on it.  When walking one year behind Devil's dyke on the flats, some very lively horses made me take a half-hour detour!
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 23,648
    What would you do if a cow approached your baby?
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,978
    Here is a story from our area along the lines of this thread.

    There is a wild area of land near here. A local farming family, living here for generations, put highland cows on the hill in order to get the grass and vegetation into better order.

    The highland cows have been there for several years. There are footpaths going over the land. I have crossed the land many times in all seasons. The cows are gentle beasts who do nothing to anybody.

    At some times of the year, the cows have calves with them. The farming family put up signs to warn people that they should keep their dogs on the lead and not approach the cows.

    Not difficult is it?


    But then this story came out in the local paper.

    Some people are total tw**s.

    Only trouble is, it’s the farmer who pays for the tw**’s stupidity.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 23,648
    I don't think the: "Greetings Earthlings. I come in peace" scenario would work in this case - even if you are a vegetarian.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
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  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,103
    People trying to attract cows to them for a stroke is just a stupid think to do, they are large, strong animals keep away if you have children or else just walk through the public right of way if you must and don't make eye contact. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,978
    I once had a sheep sneak up behind, me as I sat on a rock admiring the view, and grab the banana that I was about to enjoy.😊

    I grew up on the edge of an industrial city, with a small mixed farm nearby but no horses for miles around. I never learned to “read” horses. My OH grew up surrounded by horses, the family owned some, and he understands a horse’s mood from fifty yards, When we go out in the country and there’s a lively or curious horse in a field, I let my OH lead the way and tell me what to do. 

    If people don’t understand livestock they should go for walks with someone who does or stay at home and make life easier for everyone.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 6,215
    scroggin said:
     if you're uncomfortable entering a field of livestock then it's best for both parties to find an alternative route.
    It's not always that straightforward. It's vanishingly rare for me to be walking anywhere without at least one dog. We have done a couple of long (several days) route walks. If there are cows in a field that the footpath crosses, it's not always feasible to find a way around when you're way outside your familiar territory. And in those circumstances, just going back isn't an option, either. Also it's happened that we've been crossing a field and only realised there were cattle in it when we were already part way across.

    I wish farmers would not put cows with calves into fields that have public footpaths crossing them. Store cattle are bad enough, but at least they usually stop when you face them. Still a very risky situation though. Letting the dog run - which is the standard advice - is often not a safe option for us. A couple of very close run things has left me rather reluctant to tackle long cross country walks, which is a shame, but it's just not safe except in winter when it's just not fun.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,978
    Sometimes the farmer has no option but to put his cattle on land with public footpaths.

    This is the area where the highland cattle have been peacefully grazing for the last few years without incident.

    It is in the Peak District, a national park which attracts literally millions of visitors (many of them townies with dogs) each year.

    Who should make way for whom? The farmers, whose surnames are seen on Tudor gravestones in the village or the townies with their unrealistic ideas of what happens in the countryside? 

    I have had to call out the local vet to put down a sheep which was chased and injured by a visiting off the lead dog and then left for the crows to pick its still living eyes out.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
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