Author Topic: The cow discussion........ again  (Read 2013 times)

RogerA

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 273
Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #15 on: 17:33:48, 03/12/18 »
I dont like cows - I get nervous of horses - I really dont like farm dogs at all.
It dosent stop me walking past any - the only ones I've had problems with are farm dogs

fernman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1855
Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #16 on: 17:52:00, 03/12/18 »
This might be an appropriate moment to ask how "safe" - or not - the black Welsh highland cows are?

I've encountered plenty of them up in the hills when I've walked in Snowdonia, and they appear to be pretty docile, even a bit timid of humans, but given my general mistrust of cattle I still give them a very wide berth.

Has anyone had any problems with this particular breed? Are there any "locals" on here with experience of them who can confirm one way or the other whether I can trust them or not?

Dyffryn Ardudwy

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1481
Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #17 on: 18:22:30, 03/12/18 »
Ive never had much issue with cows, its the bullocks i find very intimidating and very unpredictable.
Cows are usually quite docile, and if you do not alarm them, or scare them by making unnecessary noise, then they usually leave you alone.
Many years ago, whilst living in South Wales, i almost came to grief with a large herd of bullocks, who started to gallop at some speed towards me, when i was already in their field, and when i had reached the safety of the bridleway gate, they were still in a very frisky state.


As for farm dogs or guard dogs in general, some years ago near Hirwaun in the South wales valley's, i visited the large car scrap merchants looking for a spare part for my Escort.
The two alsatians in the Ford Transit, were mental with rage, the van was physically moving when they sensed my presence, give me a field full of frisky cows any day, very scary. :o

Its horses i distrust the most, and if your in a field with a stallion, then you have to be constantly vigilant. :-\

Daft as it might seem, i usually make a detour around a field full of cows or horses, and if that detour is a lengthy one, so be it.

Cows can easily outrun a fit walker, so better to be safe than sorry.
« Last Edit: 18:28:44, 03/12/18 by Dyffryn Ardudwy »

Murphy

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 179
Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #18 on: 07:47:22, 04/12/18 »
Thank you April.  I am fine now - but cattle fear remains.  To concur, 99% of the time they will ignore you, but I guess it is a matter of averages - the more walking you do through farmland/cattle, the higher the percentage of finding a "rogue" cow or herd.  I think it is dangerous territory to advise that cattle will always ignore you if you walk through them calmly, or do this or do that - the fact is it only takes one time.  Caution should ALWAYS be advised.   I have had too many close shaves, and a much closer shave on an occasion I choose to forget, and no there were no calves involved, and no there were no dogs, and no I was not at fault.  I guess the vet who was killed whilst walking on the Pennine Way at the High Cam Road to Hawes a few years ago was experienced with cattle, yet she was a victim of a rogue cow.........so  those of you who have not been affected do not advise it is always OK because the fact is it isn't.  I balance that with trying not to scaremonger because I do accept that most of the time it is, but please the advice should be  "always beware......"

richardh1905

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 706
Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #19 on: 07:56:00, 04/12/18 »

Cows are generally OK as long as they are not with young calves - in which case avoid. Young bullocks can be frisky, but I've never really felt threatened.

But I avoid all cows when I am walking with the dog. Advice to dog owners is to let go of the lead if cows do come for you - the cow will chase and fail to catch the dog, whilst you make your escape.

Lakeland Lorry

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 337
Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #20 on: 08:17:08, 04/12/18 »
I guess the vet who was killed whilst walking on the Pennine Way at the High Cam Road to Hawes a few years ago was experienced with cattle, yet she was a victim of a rogue cow.........


We were possibly the last people to speak the vet who was killed on the Pennine Way in 2009.   Myself and three friends were walking up the Pennine Way from Gayle, and said hello to a woman who was walking down from the direction of Ten End, back to Gayle, with two dogs.   Although we hadn't seen any cattle in the field on our way up, it's possible that they had been hidden over the brow of the hill.   We heard the awful news later on that day.


https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/mystery-of-why-herd-of-cows-killed-animal-loving-vet-1-2298025




fernman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1855
Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #21 on: 09:47:16, 04/12/18 »
Young bullocks can be frisky, but I've never really felt threatened.

A public footpath I wanted to follow crossed a field with a large group of young bullocks that were rushing around making roaring noises and jumping up on each other. You'd have felt threatened then! I found another route.

Still hoping someone might answer my earlier query about the black Welsh highland cattle.

barewirewalker

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2779
Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #22 on: 09:53:30, 04/12/18 »
This might be an appropriate moment to ask how "safe" - or not - the black Welsh highland cows are?
from my animal husbandry lectures of more that 50 years ago, perfectly safe but a lot of water has flowed under many bridges since then. A lot of changes have happened and perhaps those, who should have been monitoring these changes, are in denial.

I organised the horse parade at a major 2 day county show for 45 years, the horse parade preceded the cattle parade and each year the stewards involved would meet socially before and after. I had known many involved since childhood. I was able to listen into remarks about animal behaviour both on the record and off the record.

Since I started walking, I realise a lot of changes have taken place in the countryside. There is a greater need for people to be be given more access to the countryside, the reasons are both social and economic, there are an abundance animal control techniques available to stock-men to mitigate the dangers inherent in mixing livestock with people, who are just visitors to the countryside.

The occupiers of countryside must recognised the value of access and remaining in denial of simple safety procedures that other industries now accept as commonplace is folly.

At the risk of some saying, "Here he goes again". The root of the denial is within the identity of the 'landowner', it is historical, it is embedded and sadly it is becoming merged with agricultural practice.

The quote above means that crossbreeding can alter the breed characteristic, which will not always be visible to the untrained eye. 
« Last Edit: 10:37:49, 04/12/18 by barewirewalker »
BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.

Dyffryn Ardudwy

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1481
Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #23 on: 10:18:40, 04/12/18 »
The Welsh Blacks are pretty docile, as the farmers above Dyffryn have a fair number of them, that seem to congregate around the lower pastures below Moelfre.
Once or twice there have been some very spectacular Bulls, amongst the herd of cows, and they look very intimidating, but hardly give you a second look.
Welsh Blacks appear to be very laid back, but i suppose if there were calves amongst the cows, it may be a different matter.

barewirewalker

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2779
Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #24 on: 10:35:47, 04/12/18 »
Just interrupted by a facetime call with grandaughter, but there are a couple of developments in agricutural practice that have struck me as pertinent to this subject.

I have repeatedly pointed out the gradual increase in single suckler herds over several decades, the management of which was glossed over when I studied herd management, because they were considered uneconomic, multiple suckler herds were considered the future. Back in those days more dehorning was practiced routinely, it was only lazy, slovenly management that resulted in horned cattle, conservation and other issues have given to a rise in horned cattle.

Now I believe the combination of horned cattle within the environment of a single suckler herd could have altered behavioral characteristics. If you link this to the reduction in managerial contact with individual animals and daily contact of stockman with his herd then you may see that there is a link, where risk assessment is could be negligent.


BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.

fernman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1855
Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #25 on: 10:54:25, 04/12/18 »
Thanks to both of you, BWW and DA.
There was an occasion when I had to pass through a farmyard gate with a Welsh black standing on one side of it and a calf on the other side. I was ready to defend myself with the point of a walking pole if necessary, but not an eyelid was batted.
On the other hand I have witnessed how nimble they can can be, I've seen ones run effortlessly up very steep banks a darned sight quicker than I would be able to on the level, and I remain very unsure about them. There is certainly a "reduction in managerial contact with individual animals and daily contact of stockman with his herd" in the case of these animals who spend their time up in the mountains.

barewirewalker

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2779
Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #26 on: 12:44:08, 04/12/18 »
The reason for de-horning was occupation of space at feeding troughs, if you watch cattle feeding you may understand that some movement of the head is not necessarily aggression may even be affection, cattle movement within the herd-space could be risky for someone within that space,

It is enclosed spaces that farmers usually get injured. I once had a length conversation with a farmer on land above Llanbister, I mention my suspicions regarding the Limousin and Lim X, he then gave me a horrifying account of an encounter that he was lucky to escape with his life.

I later read online a supposed learned text by a vet stating that any fears of specific breed aggression was unfounded and there was no evidence to support it. Is this based on reliable screening of accident reports or has it been pressured by the wish to play down the need to do risk assessment on individual animals?

« Last Edit: 12:47:53, 04/12/18 by barewirewalker »
BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.

ninthace

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2728
Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #27 on: 12:50:59, 04/12/18 »

We were possibly the last people to speak the vet who was killed on the Pennine Way in 2009.   Myself and three friends were walking up the Pennine Way from Gayle, and said hello to a woman who was walking down from the direction of Ten End, back to Gayle, with two dogs.   Although we hadn't seen any cattle in the field on our way up, it's possible that they had been hidden over the brow of the hill.   We heard the awful news later on that day.


https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/mystery-of-why-herd-of-cows-killed-animal-loving-vet-1-2298025


That was a tragic incident.  According to reports, she entered a field with cows who had just had their first calves with 2 dogs which were running free.  The speculation was that the cows attacked her dogs and she tried to protect them.
The findings from the inquest are here.
https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/4582835.Vet_not_trampled_to_death_by_cows/
Solvitur Ambulando

Jac

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1219
Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #28 on: 13:20:42, 04/12/18 »

from the link above;
“The post-mortem examination shows that Miss Crowsley had no broken bones. She had three deep cuts and bruises to her scalp, and bruises to her extremities and torso."
“But the actual cause of death was postural asphyxiation, which could have been caused when she fell against the wall.”



I find it interesting that the injuries identified lead to a 'not trampled' verdict. I would have thought such injuries could easily have resulted from the cattle barging/shoving/pushing/pressing her up against the wall. Whether the dogs returned and remained with her or not is unclear from the report. What is clear is that she was upright with her back to the wall and was fending off the cattle immediately before becoming collapsed by the wall with injuries that sound unlikely to have been caused by falling to the ground by the wall and was unable to rise.
Not actually trampled perhaps but surely due to the action of the cattle whether due to their reaction to the dogs or not.
« Last Edit: 13:23:59, 04/12/18 by Jac »
Most walks start by finding the way out of the car park

ninthace

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2728
Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #29 on: 13:56:26, 04/12/18 »
from the link above;
“The post-mortem examination shows that Miss Crowsley had no broken bones. She had three deep cuts and bruises to her scalp, and bruises to her extremities and torso."
“But the actual cause of death was postural asphyxiation, which could have been caused when she fell against the wall.”



I find it interesting that the injuries identified lead to a 'not trampled' verdict. I would have thought such injuries could easily have resulted from the cattle barging/shoving/pushing/pressing her up against the wall. Whether the dogs returned and remained with her or not is unclear from the report. What is clear is that she was upright with her back to the wall and was fending off the cattle immediately before becoming collapsed by the wall with injuries that sound unlikely to have been caused by falling to the ground by the wall and was unable to rise.
Not actually trampled perhaps but surely due to the action of the cattle whether due to their reaction to the dogs or not.
No question the cattle caused the death whether they knocked her against the wall or she stumbled.  The injuries support a not trampled verdict and she was not even trampled post mortem.  It may be that once she collapsed the dogs ran away and the cows no longer felt theatened as the dogs were found at some distance from the body.  A major contributing factor was the act of entering a field of cows and calves with 2 free running dogs.  The report says the dogs were "devoted to her" so it is likely that they would have run to her for protection and that she would have defended them with her stick which was found broken at the scene.
« Last Edit: 13:59:37, 04/12/18 by ninthace »
Solvitur Ambulando