Author Topic: The cow discussion........ again  (Read 1537 times)

pauldawes

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Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #30 on: 15:34:01, 04/12/18 »
Just back from a walk with my eldest sister, I told her "there's an interesting thread on cows and walkers...", and we discussed a bit.


She said she was always pretty relaxed about milking herds, more cautious with suckling herds.


On dogs (I'd forgotten what a difference they make, because not had one for over 30 years) she said she usually picked hers up when walking through fields with cows in, and cows behaviour changed almost as soon as they she did that...it was like throwing a switch to make them less feisty. Not an option with one of the larger breeds of dog...


I saw BBW's point about most injuries occurring in confined spaces..and that's exactly what happened to one of my nepews lads (bad arm break when he was working with a herd getting them ready for inoculation), and long ago my neighbour got kicked through the air when milking. Not too bad...till he hit the shed wall, he oft-times jokes.

Murphy

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Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #31 on: 18:56:25, 04/12/18 »
I repeat- I had no dogs, there were no calves...........I'm lucky I am here! You just never know.......


April

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Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #32 on: 19:19:36, 04/12/18 »
I am fine now - but cattle fear remains

I am pleased you are better now Murphy. I couldn't agree more with all you have wrote on here. None of the times when I have had problems with aggressive cattle involved dogs or calves. Cattle are unpredictable and can be dangerous. I wonder how many incidents with cattle go unreported?
"Who would've thought...... you are light and darkness coming through" words by Tim Armstrong

pauldawes

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Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #33 on: 20:01:59, 04/12/18 »
I repeat- I had no dogs, there were no calves...........I'm lucky I am here! You just never know.......


I’ve also had a couple of unpleasant experiences with cows and bullocks when no dogs were involved...I was just “saying” that I think the presence of dogs makes “feisty” behaviour more likely.

ninthace

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Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #34 on: 21:08:06, 04/12/18 »

I’ve also had a couple of unpleasant experiences with cows and bullocks when no dogs were involved...I was just “saying” that I think the presence of dogs makes “feisty” behaviour more likely.
  That is certainly true.


I still think the guidelines are sensible.  No dogs, move slowly and calmly and stay well out of the herd space.  That seems to work for me even with cows with calves.  If I find the cows stood in the gateway I want to walk through I gently "press" the herd from one side.  I have come across cows in confined spaces, the worst was a whole herd that had strayed onto a disused railway line.  They walked in front of us until they came to a gate across and had nowhere to go.  We went well to one side and pressed them until they fled by us on the other side of the track.  A lot of mooing and galloping but no attempt to attack.
With bullocks and young cows life is more interesting.  I have been chased on more than one occasion but I have refused to run away and while they have come to within a few feet with a lot of frisking about, they have never pressed it home.  The worst occasion was entering a field just after a mountain biker had been through - he said he thought he might have "stirred them up a bit"  When I entered they were very excited and wanted to play some more,  They were determined to get behind me so I spent a fair bit of time spinning round as I walked across the field but by the far side they thought I was pretty boring and wandered off.  A similar thing happened a few weeks ago with young cows.  As we entered the field they ran up to us and formed a huddle a few feet away but I talked to them quietly and again they only followed us for a while before stopping.  Young beasts aren't so much bad as bored.


Last year in the Alps I came across the ultimate in awkward cows,  It was stood across a path with a slope on one side and a drop on the other - there was no way by at all.  I asked nicely in English and German.  I shoved the blunt end and the horny end to no avail.  I did offer to use the pointy end of my pole but Mrs N said no.  Eventually it ran out of grass and moved off.
Solvitur Ambulando

tonyk

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Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #35 on: 22:45:51, 04/12/18 »
 One method I have used when surrounded by bullocks is to stand completely still and keep very calm.After a while (up to 20 minutes) the bullocks calm down and might lick your leg but they tend to remain docile and eventually lose interest and wander off.The impression I got was that the bullocks forgot I was a person and started to treat me as an inanimate object.You never see a cow attacking a tree or fence but it might lick a tree and gently rub against it.They can be extremely gentle creatures if given a chance.

beefy

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Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #36 on: 14:34:24, 06/12/18 »
Cattle are unpredictable and can be dangerous. I wonder how many incidents with cattle go unreported?
Totally agree O0
Probably a lot go unreported, including incidents with other animals such as horses etc.

Before we recently had a couple of incidents with aggressive cows, I'd never had a problem with them,
However, now I've  encountered and seen them  behaving in an aggressive and unpredictable manner, (without being accompanied by the dog)
I will always be cautious, it's not always the way that we 
Behave, that influences the reaction of them,
It seems some people that haven't experienced this think there isn't a problem (including myself in the past)
DRIP COFFINS  :D

jimbob

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Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #37 on: 15:57:31, 06/12/18 »
Farmers often carry feed to the fields for the stock. The stock get used to humans being associated with food. Very common with sheep. Cattle were usually taken into the hemels for winter. Now they stay outside a lot longer and get taken sacks of high protein food and the younger ones naturally run to the expected source of easy grub.   If they bump you , you're in trouble. Nothing to do with breed, in this case it's to do with greed.
Too little, too late, too bad......

Murphy

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Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #38 on: 20:24:18, 06/12/18 »
I’m struggling to understand why there are so many refusing to accept that cattle can be a serious issue and are trying to justify behaviour. Try being tossed in the air from behind just like a rag doll and then suffer the follow up action. Plus other run ins over recent years.  Perhaps I should have stood still for half an hour!  Just accept you need to be cautious because it may be you next time. 

jimbob

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Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #39 on: 20:28:12, 06/12/18 »
Just accept you need to be cautious because it may be you next time.
Not refusing to accept anything. Your last sentence is exactly the correct way to think on the problem , which for whatever reason  does exist. My friend a hill farmer all his life lost his leg from being trampled by beast he had reared.
Too little, too late, too bad......

Maggot

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Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #40 on: 22:23:17, 06/12/18 »
I’m struggling to understand why there are so many refusing to accept that cattle can be a serious issue and are trying to justify behaviour. Try being tossed in the air from behind just like a rag doll and then suffer the follow up action. Plus other run ins over recent years.  Perhaps I should have stood still for half an hour!  Just accept you need to be cautious because it may be you next time.


But cows have killed around 4-6 people a year, in 2017 1,793 people were killed on the roads in the UK, with an additional 170,993 very seriously injured.  I would be way more worried about driving to go for a walk than walking through a field of cows as someone said earlier.




ninthace

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Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #41 on: 22:52:40, 06/12/18 »
Caution is the watchword indeed but don't let it become a thing or it will spoil your walking. The odds of being injured really are low but certainly not zero.  Every encounter is different.  I always watch beasts in fields like a hawk and try to read them.  Some need a very wide berth to the point of using dead ground if necessary, some can be approached freely; their bearing should tell you what's right but always keep your options open.

I have felt the sharp end of a cow.  I was taking a photo on a col with lots of placid cows that were well used to humans, too used as it turned out.  I had my back to one which was a couple of feet behind me when it decided I was on its lunch and nudged me out of the way with its horn - right up my backside.  I got the point and moved sharply but what really hurt was Mrs N laughing like a drain.
The only farm animal that has pressed home an attack on me was a cockerel who decided I was too close to his ladies and launched an attack.  I never saw it coming, the first thing I knew was a flutter and a stinging pain in the back of my thigh.  I have also been attacked by buzzards and gulls
My personal ranking of animal hazard in descending order of risk would be motorists on narrow lanes, birds (especially geese), dogs not under control (especially farm dogs), cows, horses and mountain bikers.  Above these in terms of injury risk, I would put loose and slippery rocks, greasy surfaces and barbed wire.
« Last Edit: 22:57:41, 06/12/18 by ninthace »
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tonyk

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Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #42 on: 00:11:56, 07/12/18 »
I’m struggling to understand why there are so many refusing to accept that cattle can be a serious issue and are trying to justify behaviour. Try being tossed in the air from behind just like a rag doll and then suffer the follow up action. Plus other run ins over recent years.  Perhaps I should have stood still for half an hour!  Just accept you need to be cautious because it may be you next time.
  How did you end up in that situation in the first place,being attacked from behind? Its true you can't always see cattle in a field when entering but there are usually visible signs of cattle presence such as dung and footprints.Awareness is they key,not getting in desperate situations in the first place.

Murphy

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Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #43 on: 08:01:37, 07/12/18 »
I don't propose to prolong this threat unnecessarily, but just want to make it clear that it does not spoil my walking - indeed I am an experienced walker and backpack regularly.  I am well aware of the number of road deaths and don't compare this at all.  The point I was trying to was that it is not good to imply that "it will be fine" or if you stand still they will usually go away and so on.  There is a threat,  whether that threat is small or not and many incidents do go unreported.  My point is  to promote the "it will be fine approach is not good particularly as people look to this forum for advice.    As many have said, and what I am saying it is a case of beware.........as for getting myself in that position in the first place, what can I say but I didn't realise there might be cow dung or other signs of cattle in a field, I will look out for it next time! O0

April

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Re: The cow discussion........ again
« Reply #44 on: 08:56:12, 07/12/18 »
I am very disappointed at some of the responses on this thread. I thought we were a caring community of walkers and hikers on here. You may not realise how your posts are coming across; not just the lack of empathy and understanding but the blaming and belittling of others who have had bad experiences with cattle. Perhaps your posts are not meant to come across as being a bit aggressive and mean?

But cows have killed around 4-6 people a year, in 2017 1,793 people were killed on the roads in the UK, with an additional 170,993 very seriously injured.  I would be way more worried about driving to go for a walk than walking through a field of cows as someone said earlier.

You might want to have a look at this
https://killercows.co.uk/facts-stats/cattle-attack-statistics-an-alternative-view/

We are more likely to be injured by cattle if you think about the numbers of car/bus journeys we have compared to the numbers of times we encounter cattle. How many other incidents or near misses go unreported?

Its true you can't always see cattle in a field when entering but there are usually visible signs of cattle presence such as dung and footprints. Awareness is they key, not getting in desperate situations in the first place.

I agree with some of this. However, knowing cattle may be in the field does not prepare you for an attack that we experienced. The cattle were unseen, there were a few cow pats about on the path. Being "aware" didn't really help in our situation. We were almost at a stile when some cattle came from the left, unseen until we heard them roaring. They were charging at us at full pelt. We managed to get over the stile and only just. They would not have been able to stop if we had stood still. They were on a steep slope coming down hill with 6 inches of mud underfoot. They tried to stop at the stile but couldn't. They skidded past it by about 6 foot, if we had took some of the advice on here to stand still they would have slammed into us even if they had wanted to stop before they got to us. So standing still would have been the daftest thing to do.

Cattle can be dangerous. Plain and simple. Most of the time however, cattle are fine but you never know how they may react to you. Nobody is saying it spoils their walking, it doesn't spoil mine either. But please do not blame walkers when they are attacked by cattle or belittle their experience.
"Who would've thought...... you are light and darkness coming through" words by Tim Armstrong