Cattle Blog: The Problem With Being Nice to Cows

If you’ve read any of my other posts, you know that I’ve learned how smart cattle can be. From the tiniest baby to the biggest bull, they outsmart all human beings if given a chance. This is probably because they act a lot like humans.

romagnola cattle winter coat
I need some conditioner!

They can be very playful and have personalities just like people. Some are very nosy when Leland is trying to take pictures. Others couldn’t care less and turn away from him. Some refuse to look at him when their feelings or bums are hurt (like after the vet has been by).

romagnola cattle
You put your right hoof in…

Some do the hokey pokey – others run amuck in the fields. Some are very personable and others temporarily have attitude. Some are anti-social at times and some haven’t met a fellow cow they didn’t like, ever.

romagnola cattle
Sharing

Some will share the feed and others will chase off anyone eating in their personal space. They will even fight over the last bite of hay! Once I saw  a steer eating hay and had a huge bit sticking out of his mouth. He turned to look at another steer, who promptly pulled the hay out of the first ones mouth and ate it himself.

romagnola cattle
Romagnola calf

Some play in their food (and water). Others eat as if they will never see another meal. Some are escape artists and others will never challenge a fence to see what’s on the other side.

romagnola cattle
Little Sweetie

The problem that comes with being nice is like this little girl. She bamboozled Leland. With her big doe-like eyes, long feathery eyelashes and sweet disposition, she took him down.  Her name should have given her actions away – FiFi.

He was carrying the bucket into the corral and she came up to him,  as usual being very nosy. She believes the world revolves around her. She stuck her nose into the feed bucket and discovered sweet feed!

Every time after that, when Leland carried the bucket into the corral, she acted like it was her own personal bucket and valet, that he was bringing sweet feed just for her. She was so cute – until she got a wee bit older.

Now he has to deal with a larger calf nearly pushing him down to get to the bucket. She has friends who want to see what she’s up to. They mingle, push, and crowd, trying to see.

I asked why he didn’t just get her her own little feeder, toss her feed in it for her then zip over to put sweet feed the other cow troughs.  He informed me that the fight would be on – the other bigger girls would battle to see what she was getting that they weren’t getting.

This area of the corral is like a WWW Federation Cow smack down when it comes to those ladies getting their sweet feed. You don’t dare get between the sweet feed and their big bodies. A couple are taller than Leland’s 6’2″.

It just goes to show – give a calf an inch and she will knock you down and take away your bucket of sweet feed when she gets older.

It doesn’t pay to be nice and give special treatment to one if you aren’t going to do it to them all. They’re human like that!