Author Topic: Factors that may shape our attitudes towards cattle...  (Read 3699 times)

ninthace

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7647
Re: Factors that may shape our attitudes towards cattle...
« Reply #15 on: 17:35:33, 09/10/20 »
I can tell some breeds apart but I have not noticed much difference that you can rely on.  I know there are breed characteristics but I suspect individual variation in temprament and how they have been handled outweighs that.  A rule of thumb I use is if they are obviously female and calfless, the bigger the better.  It's the little ones that play up.  Quite often there is a ring leader that detaches itself from the group that can be a pain in the backside.
Solvitur Ambulando

fernman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3154
Re: Factors that may shape our attitudes towards cattle...
« Reply #16 on: 18:44:54, 09/10/20 »
In my experience Black Welsh Highland cattle seem to be quite docile, they either run away or they stare at you without making a move.
I've been pretty close to their bulls on a couple of occasions, while another time I went through a gate out of a farmyard with a cow standing on on side of it and her calf on the other.
But I could be wrong!

ninthace

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7647
Re: Factors that may shape our attitudes towards cattle...
« Reply #17 on: 19:01:21, 09/10/20 »
Just a thought for those who have successfully vaulted the fence or gate and are standing there looking all smug and sticking their tongue out at Daisy - a cow jump obstacles up to 6 feet high if it wants to, and it does not need much of a run up.  This one is a bit lower but look at the laclk of effort https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWSBOhUBxtY

But given an incentive
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NoHF4D55gc
Solvitur Ambulando

Jac

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2661
Re: Factors that may shape our attitudes towards cattle...
« Reply #18 on: 09:43:24, 10/10/20 »
Often a mixed herd - cows/heifers, youngsters and bull - seem more settled and peaceful.

Hope I'm not tempting fate here :-\
So many paths yet to walk, so little time left

happyhiker

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 665
Re: Factors that may shape our attitudes towards cattle...
« Reply #19 on: 12:43:11, 10/10/20 »
On a happier cow note, one evening in Devon, I walked through a field to its high point in the hopes of a good sunset picture. At the top of the field was a tall stile which made a good vantage point. The field beyond contained a herd of cows but as I was not going any further, this did not matter. After I had been sat there a while, the cows got curious and came over to me. When he nearest one came close enough, I stroked it's head. Very soon, the other cows were pushing each other out of the way for their turn!


I suppose this was possibly a bit irresponsible in retrospect as it might encourage cows to approach and thus frighten people!


I have found dogs and horses over the years much more troublesome than cows. Hate dog owners who tell you their dogs "won't hurt you" after their dog has rushed up barking and growling!

barewirewalker

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3485
Re: Factors that may shape our attitudes towards cattle...
« Reply #20 on: 14:49:38, 10/10/20 »
Like your Photos WD, at least there is a bull in the field well places above the notice, warning of his presence. All to often these warnings are meaningless, further information on breed type and stockmanship information informing that a a risk assessment has been carried out would help being placed alongside such a notice.

An obvious safety protocol in the second with the highland cattle would be electric fence sections of the lane that the cattle congregate on, where if puts the walker at a terrain disadvantage to avoid approaching the cattle. Personally in this instance I would think the risk assessment low.

Bulls a bit more obvious in your 3rd photo. Herford bull, breed traditionally placid running with a mixture of crossbreeds probably in early stages of pregnancy, some Limousin crosses, possible Belgian Blue. If they were close to calving then the stockman should do a risk assessment for his own safety as well as others based on knowledge of individual observations and temperament records and post advice based on this information. Be surprised if such a detailed protocol exist in farm safety training today.


Fourth photo all Freisian Dairy followers, probably incalf heifers, low risk but highly inquisitive. Risk would be pushing through the animals, and loosing balance, then the herd being frightened the trampling being caused. My advice; always create a pathway with voice or gesticulations.


Ninthace's experience with a parapet path is a classic example where terrain and deviation puts the walker at a disadvantage, fencing strategies should be be part of an automatic safety protocol.

Hope these ideas are not too confusing, might be the year 3026 when they are original thought from the CLA, and only after land gets nationalized. :crazy2:
BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.

Dyffryn Ardudwy

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1840
Re: Factors that may shape our attitudes towards cattle...
« Reply #21 on: 15:01:40, 10/10/20 »
Until you have had close encounters, with a field full of bullocks, showing great interest in the human about to commit suicide thinking of entering their field.
Or, being chased by a galloping Hunter Horse, that for some reason, probably his temperament, was kept in a field alone, with a PROW crossing the corner of it.

Even showing promise as a 200m sprinter, trying to outrun a herd of very excited cows, above Porth Wen Brick works near Bull Bay on Angelesy's coastal path.

To show these animals the respect they deserve, you have had to have prior close shave experience with them.

Many members of the public, have no recollection of close shaves with our bovine colleagues, so enter their field, possibly unaware of the possible dangers involved.

If they have an excitable dog in tow, who decides to bark and scare the animals, then the consequences can be dramatic.

WhitstableDave

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1177
Re: Factors that may shape our attitudes towards cattle...
« Reply #22 on: 15:16:14, 10/10/20 »
Hi BWW. I am well impressed by your expertise!

I knew that was a bull the other side of the stile in my first photo, because I was only a few yards away at the time. How you could tell it was a bull from the photo is beyond me.  O0

(BTW, your other observations were interesting and helpful too.)

Jac

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2661
Re: Factors that may shape our attitudes towards cattle...
« Reply #23 on: 15:41:56, 10/10/20 »
Yesterday's experience.
Meadow by R Teign. National/Woodland Trust Land.
Crescent shaped meadow with access gate at each point of the crescent. Higher ground in the concave arc. Consequently, at either gate you cannot see half the field nor the other gate.
An undated sign by each gate stated that '12 Hereford heifers would be put in the field'. Sign not dated.
Sign did also suggest you might like to use the path running outside the field but why would you if no cattle are obvious.

Leaning idly on the gate I counted up to 10 then noticed something no heifer has!

In the field were 10 heifers, a handsome black bull and ......  appearing one by one from their afternoon naps in undergrowth yawning, stretching and seeking out their mums for tea at least six calves.

A lovely peaceful scene but had someone approach from the other gate, seen no cattle and wandered in with lively dog it might have become a lot less tranquil. It's a well used area for dog walkers but not a PRoW. If the sign been amended most people would probably have taken the other path and perhaps avoided a problem.  With no date on the sign and no cattle in sight you'd assume they had not yet arrived.




« Last Edit: 15:58:49, 10/10/20 by Jac »
So many paths yet to walk, so little time left

archaeoroutes

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1488
Re: Factors that may shape our attitudes towards cattle...
« Reply #24 on: 16:56:27, 10/10/20 »
I just try to read their mood. But then I grew up with cattle just behind out house and thus I played in their fields.
Walking routes visiting ancient sites in Britain's uplands: http://www.archaeoroutes.co.uk

ninthace

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7647
Re: Factors that may shape our attitudes towards cattle...
« Reply #25 on: 17:17:04, 10/10/20 »
We followed a herd of cows for around half a mile today as they were being moved from one field to another.  GPS trace shows they were ambling along at around 3.5 mph and they weren't even putting any effort in.  No wonder you can't outrun them!
Solvitur Ambulando

barewirewalker

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3485
Re: Factors that may shape our attitudes towards cattle...
« Reply #26 on: 17:33:06, 10/10/20 »
Hi BWW. I am well impressed by your expertise!

I knew that was a bull the other side of the stile in my first photo, because I was only a few yards away at the time. How you could tell it was a bull from the photo is beyond me.  O0

(BTW, your other observations were interesting and helpful too.)
Blocky conformation, straight back very well bred animal at  a guess, broad male head and black calves, in background but he give away was the ring in his nose,  :D .
BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.

Bigfoot_Mike

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2247
Re: Factors that may shape our attitudes towards cattle...
« Reply #27 on: 17:46:18, 10/10/20 »
My wife and I encountered something similar to WDís second photo on the return walk from Slaggan -a derelict village with a pretty beach, much loved by cows. On the way out we saw some a Highland Cows high up on the hill. On the way back there were half a dozen, or so, big beasts blocking the path. One was a bull. To stay on the path, we would have had to squeeze through small gaps between them. I wasnít keen on this, so we crossed a ditch and went part way up the hill to pass them - not too high, as two more were descending towards us. We passed safely, watched by the cows, but nothing worse. There had been another couple ahead of us on the path. We didnít see them again and assumed they also got through safely. At least we didnít see any evidence of their demise. Perhaps we would have been fine squeezing between them, but I wasnít chancing it.

ninthace

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7647
Re: Factors that may shape our attitudes towards cattle...
« Reply #28 on: 18:10:33, 10/10/20 »
Highland cattle are grazed on Exmoor.  Last year we met a solitary mum and calf some distance from the main herd on a narrow path through the heather.  She did not want to get off the path and neither did we.  Since I would rather face a Highland Cow than an Exmoor Tick, we pushed her gently along until she decided she had gone far enough and got out of the way to go round us to rejoin the herd.   They always seem to be fairly placid beasts but as been said, it is a matter of reading their mood.
Solvitur Ambulando

fernman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3154
Re: Factors that may shape our attitudes towards cattle...
« Reply #29 on: 18:25:49, 10/10/20 »
While this lot on the RoW looked pretty harmless, there were rather a lot of them and they were bigger than me.
So I didn't take any chances, I trespassed along the adjoining field, from where I took the photo.