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Livestock, Your Tips and Advice Pls

Re: Livestock, Your Tips and Advice Pls

Postby boony » Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:39 pm

I've had a busy few days and all but forgot this post I made here, I just got the urge to check in and ideal to have all the replies to read with a coffee on a lazy sunday

@Gordie12
After all I had read online about cows thats the first time Ive read anything that was akin to my own experience, interesting that you spotted a Bull, I wouldn't be surprised if there was a bull or two among the cattle I encountered, and you mention the size too, absolutly!, some people might laugh at being wary of cows, of course they're placid, and they're not going to bite, but they do have natural defences against would be pretators = sheer bulk, and surprising speed when they bolt. I'd need to look up the figures for the U.K. I've seen stats before, and they show that hikers and dog walkers are indeed sometimes killed/injured in the UK by being trampled. Oh, I'm not a dog walker myself, but the advice I've seen for anyone ever in that situation is to drop the lead, your dog will no doubt get himself to safety, whilst you look out for yourself.

Also interesting that you mention the eye contact, I now tghink it it that, and also whole body language, after my scare I had decided to try and find ways past the cattle by using paralell fields, of course on my next big walk after the incident, just last week or so, I skipped past a couple of fields with cows, then, inevitably, I came to an area that was completely impassable either side, it was was through the huge field of (huge) cows, I couldnot see the end of the field as it continued over the brow of a hill.

As I stood, rather nervously at the gate, 3 or 4 cows had already begun to show more than average interest in me, I realised that if I cannot do this my walking days are practically over, I was frikking bottling it, but I really didn't want to give in, I wandered away from the gate, had a bit of a break and a think. I randomly picked up a small walking pole sized tree branch and decided to go for it, as I neared the gate I had a bit of an epiphany, I was thinking, just ignore the fekkers, stride through there just like a farmer (with his stick!) going about his business, and after a swig of water and a bite of a cliff bar (My last meal! - I honestly was thinking that! :D) I purposely opened the gate, closed it behind me and strode in, head down, just keeping track of the cows by quick glances to their bodies, walking quite fast but steady enough for the ones on the track (path was like a landrover track) to stop grazing and shuffle off,

There must have been about at least a hundred cows in that pasture, first nearby cow barely looked at me as it was grazing, success! The next couple the same, then a tiny, and I mean tiny, little calf showed some interest, it wandered towards me, my heart started to race, momma cow isn't going to like this, but Farmer Boony style I strode on, Cows deal with people, farmers. all the time I mwas thinking, Momma cow mooed, the littled calf got startled and ran back to momma,

That little encounter really helped lift me out of my "weirded out about cows" feeling, and I continued on feeling normal, @Gordie12 it's funny you should also mention "the ringleader" I too got the feeling in my last encounter that there was a "wrong un" among them, and the rest were following the leader (as they would I assume, if a wolf or such was harrying a calf or something) I also remember reading something before, where the guy mentioned a cow having a really difficult birth, and after that it's personality became really aggressive, and that they sent it off for slaughter as they couldn't deal with it. I agree with your attitude in that I'm now not going to let what happened change anything (no more skirting paralel to cow fields) but to have a healthy respect for what cattle are capable of. Oh, also, I'm probably going to report my incident to the local council responsible for waymarking the path etc, just in case there is indeed a 'wrong un' among that particular herd.

Ha, this reply took so long I'm going to have to go make another coffee before reading the rest of the thread!
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Re: Livestock, Your Tips and Advice Pls

Postby boony » Sun Sep 09, 2018 4:41 pm

@Caberfeidh
Ha! Vegatarian here for past 10 years, heh, before my encounter with the crazy cattle bunch, I used to walk past them, smiling, waving, and even sometimes infoirming them that although vegetarian, i do enjoy their cheese, telling them to keep up the good work and so on. No more of that for me, now its head down, striding purposely, all business.

@ Sack the Juggler
Yep, its that herd thing, were some are curious, then the others join in, I'm wondering now if a lot of the 'joiner-inners' assume the herd is in danger. Ha, that moment on the style, when you saw more Bullocks in the next field must have been a picture!


From reading about Bullocks in Sack the Juggler's post, a Bullock is a castrated Bull right? I take it that even without the testosterone they still grow to be quite a bit bigger than the cows, so easily spottable? If there were bulls / bullocks in the herd that I found troublesome, then they'd have been young (cow sized) ones. Is it ok to assume that a Bullocks 'normal' behaviour would be akin to a cows normal behaviour?

@Border Reiver
"We always spend a few minutes watching cattle that are in our path to see how they are behaving"
I intend to do that from now on, but during the actual scary incident itself, the cows, all of them were way over the other side of the field, I would have had no way of knowing that they would behave in the way they did, walking towards me from so far away, then jogging, it was like that herd had never seen a person before.
You mention the insulators on electric fences, is there a knack to climbing over those without getting a jolt? Also, about standing still, I remeber thinking to myself that I should stand my ground, but something else, my gut, made me move without thinking. Before I knew it I was on the other side of the fence.

Oh, intersting point maybe, after navigating along the hedgerows of the field I found myself in, I saw the cows again in the vicinity of the next gate, they wandered over, and I did the waving arms thing that I had previously read about, and from about ten yards away they got spooked. And as a mass they reared around on their hind legs and ran off, only to jog back again, I was glad at the time to be on the other side of the cattle grid!

Reading threads is thirsty work, I need more coffee!
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Re: Livestock, Your Tips and Advice Pls

Postby Sack the Juggler » Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:11 pm

hi Boony, by bullock I meant young bull, sorry if I got the terminology wrong :oops:
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Re: Livestock, Your Tips and Advice Pls

Postby boony » Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:30 pm

Sack the Juggler wrote:hi Boony, by bullock I meant young bull, sorry if I got the terminology wrong :oops:


No worries mate, I've been walking past cattle for maybe a year or two, without a care to the terminology, now after being chased off of a perfectly nice walking path by some of them I find myself trying to get at least a rough idea as to how to deal with them, hence my recently picked up knowledge of the terms. Going back to your incident, I think I read somewhere before that Bulls are a lot more chilled out if they are in the same field as cows, is knowing that what made you confident that going towards the old Bull was the safer option?
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Re: Livestock, Your Tips and Advice Pls

Postby boony » Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:11 pm

@Lightfoot2017
I'm really thinking that is the correct attitude, as by your body language or whatever a sort of hierarchy is established were they are in no doubt they have to shuffle out of your way. I'm probably going to start packing my walking poles every trip, just for the psychological effect. I think if you kind of behave like a no nonsense farmer, going about his business, then the cows accept the hierarchy. Even from the cows point of view a confident no nonsence walker going past, going about his business is better than them being spooked by an amateur city slicker staring at them with a big smile on his face, I just read that in the animal kingdom smiling = aggression (Baring Fangs)


@mynthdd2 ...
Wow, what happened there? This is the time of the Rut and all that eh? I've never seen a stag, and any deer I've encountered close up have darted away before I could even get my camera ready to get a pic.


@weaselmaster
Are you saying you kept on going in the direction you were headed? i.e. Towards the massive frikkin Bull? And yes, dogs really set them off, I think, it was a while ago that I saw a news report of an injured walker, but I'm pretty sure it said that in practically every case of death or injury a dog was involved. I guess to a Momma Cow a dog doesn't look too different to a Wolf.


@Sgurr Wut? Now I gotta be wary of horsies too? Sheet! Thats one crazy story btw. Oh Man, if anyone is feeling a bit worried at this point spare a thought for those poor Americans and the like, ok they got amazing scenery like the Rockies, and the Great Lekes, but they have to deal with Bears, Snakes and Mountain Lions!
Btw @Sgurr, your friend that got trampled, I assume it was a 'light trampling' if there is such a thing, as you say they were out the next day to find the dog.

@Caberfeidh
Bookmarked. That looks like a strangely compelling read, I'll definately have a look at that later, I think I remember one of the head guys at lonely planet saying their most successful titles are the 'warts and all travel disaster stories' Its like cool campfire tales, Oh, oh, is there any threads on here dealing with 'the woo' you know, lights, UFO's, Cryptids? You guys must have some tales, shet, just a few weeks ago, I kid you not, I was setting up my newishly purchased hiking chair (I know, who the fekk takes an actual chair in their backpack? = lol, me! It only weighs 500 grams though), anyways, it wasn't really an ideal place to set up, but I needed a break and something to eat, and I swear, as I was putting up the chair I noticed little lights, in broad daylight! Its hard to describe, one of the strangest things I've ever seen for sure, I'm quite interested in etymology and stuff, and find it interesting that at christmas we decorate with faery lights – the lights part of that word would be from the days when it was still ok to talk about this kind of stuff.
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Re: Livestock, Your Tips and Advice Pls

Postby Sack the Juggler » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:28 am

boony wrote:
Sack the Juggler wrote:hi Boony, by bullock I meant young bull, sorry if I got the terminology wrong :oops:


No worries mate, I've been walking past cattle for maybe a year or two, without a care to the terminology, now after being chased off of a perfectly nice walking path by some of them I find myself trying to get at least a rough idea as to how to deal with them, hence my recently picked up knowledge of the terms. Going back to your incident, I think I read somewhere before that Bulls are a lot more chilled out if they are in the same field as cows, is knowing that what made you confident that going towards the old Bull was the safer option?
The only reason we headed towards the bull was that it was eating calmly and not even looking up at us, so we felt that it would calm the others down, it was also almost on the way towards the next stile, so only a short detour and it left us with about 100 m to go to the next stile, so it felt like a safe haven until we could make the next step.

Generally never have trouble with cows, they are normally relaxed and ignore us, its just the younger beasts that are curious.

The missus even managed to walk into one the other day without it flinching (she was answering a text message and did't see the cow until she bounced off it) :lol:
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Re: Livestock, Your Tips and Advice Pls

Postby Pastychomper » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:45 am

It's worth keeping in mind that bullocks are kept only for meat, so they'll be sent off as soon as they're at or near full size. In other words they don't generally get old, any you meet will be curious and boisterous adolescents. My experience is that they'll run over and gawp but not get too close, but that may be partly my attitude - I was fortunate enough to spend some time on farms when I was a curious adolescent, so probably picked up the farmers' walk.

On the rare occasion I've actually felt threatened in a field of cattle it had more to do with their owner. For some reason I find angry farmers a lot harder to pacify than coos. Fortunately they (the angry kind) seem to be a rare breed around here.
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Re: Livestock, Your Tips and Advice Pls

Postby al78 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:14 am

Sack the Juggler wrote:The missus even managed to walk into one the other day without it flinching (she was answering a text message and did't see the cow until she bounced off it) :lol:


Ha ha, why am I not surprised. There is something about mobile phones that shrinks the visible universe of the observer to half a meter around their body.

Hopefully she won't do something similar around moving motor vehicles, otherwise she won't live very long.
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Re: Livestock, Your Tips and Advice Pls

Postby Gordie12 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:05 pm

boony wrote:I've had a busy few days and all but forgot this post I made here, I just got the urge to check in and ideal to have all the replies to read with a coffee on a lazy sunday

@Gordie12
After all I had read online about cows thats the first time Ive read anything that was akin to my own experience, interesting that you spotted a Bull, I wouldn't be surprised if there was a bull or two among the cattle I encountered, and you mention the size too, absolutly!, some people might laugh at being wary of cows, of course they're placid, and they're not going to bite, but they do have natural defences against would be pretators = sheer bulk, and surprising speed when they bolt. I'd need to look up the figures for the U.K. I've seen stats before, and they show that hikers and dog walkers are indeed sometimes killed/injured in the UK by being trampled. Oh, I'm not a dog walker myself, but the advice I've seen for anyone ever in that situation is to drop the lead, your dog will no doubt get himself to safety, whilst you look out for yourself.

Also interesting that you mention the eye contact, I now tghink it it that, and also whole body language, after my scare I had decided to try and find ways past the cattle by using paralell fields, of course on my next big walk after the incident, just last week or so, I skipped past a couple of fields with cows, then, inevitably, I came to an area that was completely impassable either side, it was was through the huge field of (huge) cows, I couldnot see the end of the field as it continued over the brow of a hill.

As I stood, rather nervously at the gate, 3 or 4 cows had already begun to show more than average interest in me, I realised that if I cannot do this my walking days are practically over, I was frikking bottling it, but I really didn't want to give in, I wandered away from the gate, had a bit of a break and a think. I randomly picked up a small walking pole sized tree branch and decided to go for it, as I neared the gate I had a bit of an epiphany, I was thinking, just ignore the fekkers, stride through there just like a farmer (with his stick!) going about his business, and after a swig of water and a bite of a cliff bar (My last meal! - I honestly was thinking that! :D) I purposely opened the gate, closed it behind me and strode in, head down, just keeping track of the cows by quick glances to their bodies, walking quite fast but steady enough for the ones on the track (path was like a landrover track) to stop grazing and shuffle off,

There must have been about at least a hundred cows in that pasture, first nearby cow barely looked at me as it was grazing, success! The next couple the same, then a tiny, and I mean tiny, little calf showed some interest, it wandered towards me, my heart started to race, momma cow isn't going to like this, but Farmer Boony style I strode on, Cows deal with people, farmers. all the time I mwas thinking, Momma cow mooed, the littled calf got startled and ran back to momma,

That little encounter really helped lift me out of my "weirded out about cows" feeling, and I continued on feeling normal, @Gordie12 it's funny you should also mention "the ringleader" I too got the feeling in my last encounter that there was a "wrong un" among them, and the rest were following the leader (as they would I assume, if a wolf or such was harrying a calf or something) I also remember reading something before, where the guy mentioned a cow having a really difficult birth, and after that it's personality became really aggressive, and that they sent it off for slaughter as they couldn't deal with it. I agree with your attitude in that I'm now not going to let what happened change anything (no more skirting paralel to cow fields) but to have a healthy respect for what cattle are capable of. Oh, also, I'm probably going to report my incident to the local council responsible for waymarking the path etc, just in case there is indeed a 'wrong un' among that particular herd.

Ha, this reply took so long I'm going to have to go make another coffee before reading the rest of the thread!


Based on your comments the "wrong un" I encountered had a REALLY REALLY bad birth!!

You can be sure that after a bad encounter the next field will have it's share of cows. In the case I mentioned it was my last field of the day entering Selkirk and the next morning there they all were in my 1st field as I headed towards Melrose. The difference the next morning was that as soon as I entered the field I knew it was business as usual and they weren't the least bit interested in me.

Happy walking......................
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Re: Livestock, Your Tips and Advice Pls

Postby JohnJoe » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:51 pm

I'm always wary of them, but I've only really had two diving-over-fence incidents, and both were around this time of year when the groups of males are getting a bit more assertive and frisky just before they go off to be made into nice beef burgers.

Conventional wisdom is to let dogs off the lead if cattle start to chase you, the theory being that the cows chase the dog instead of you. Unfortunately this relies entirely on the dog also running away from you, but if your dog is like mine (i.e. a wimp) then it's more likely to cower at your feet and direct the charging herd straight at you. So if I see cows I pick her up and hide her under a coat until we're passed them. It's worked so far!
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Re: Livestock, Your Tips and Advice Pls

Postby Sunset tripper » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:01 am

JohnJoe wrote:I'm always wary of them, but I've only really had two diving-over-fence incidents, and both were around this time of year when the groups of males are getting a bit more assertive and frisky just before they go off to be made into nice beef burgers.

Conventional wisdom is to let dogs off the lead if cattle start to chase you, the theory being that the cows chase the dog instead of you. Unfortunately this relies entirely on the dog also running away from you, but if your dog is like mine (i.e. a wimp) then it's more likely to cower at your feet and direct the charging herd straight at you. So if I see cows I pick her up and hide her under a coat until we're passed them. It's worked so far!


Could you not tie your dog to a fence post like they did with that goat in Jurassic park? :shock:
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Re: Livestock, Your Tips and Advice Pls

Postby al78 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:45 pm

I've only had one issue with cows, when I was on a group walk. We entered a field with cows and calfs, and one of the group had a dog. We had entered the field at one corner and had to walk along the edge to the opposiote corner, unfortunately the cows were all congregated around that corner where the public right of way exited the field. We started walking across the field, got about halfway across when the cows started looking disturbed and agitated, then the whole herd came stampeding toward us. Half of us turned around and half of us turned right and ran to a gate in another corner (thankfully downhill). We got there just in time and bolted over the gate, and were now in an empty field with the cows blocking the gate and mooing aggressively. A couple of women I was with began to get a bit scared. One of the group managed to get in contact with the others, who had got back on track and were waiting for us on a minor road. I used the mapping tool on my phone to get our position and work out a rendevous route with the others. With no suitable conventional way out of the field, I led the others through woodland and along the bank of a stream which I knew intersected the minor road where the other half of the group were waiting. After a bit of trailblazing we made it back reunited.
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Re: Livestock, Your Tips and Advice Pls

Postby Caberfeidh » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:43 pm

boony wrote:Oh, oh, is there any threads on here dealing with 'the woo' you know, lights, UFO's, Cryptids? You guys must have some tales....


Indeed... :shock:

https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=52883&p=282599&hilit=+spooky#p282599
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Re: Livestock, Your Tips and Advice Pls

Postby Sgurr » Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:29 pm

boony wrote:



@Sgurr Wut? Now I gotta be wary of horsies too? Sheet! Thats one crazy story btw. Oh Man, if anyone is feeling a bit worried at this point spare a thought for those poor Americans and the like, ok they got amazing scenery like the Rockies, and the Great Lekes, but they have to deal with Bears, Snakes and Mountain Lions!
Btw @Sgurr, your friend that got trampled, I assume it was a 'light trampling' if there is such a thing, as you say they were out the next day to find the dog.


Broke a rib or two. When we went to the USA we had to learn the bear drill. This was the 100 words that got me runner up in an Observer comp on Journeys of the Mind. I am always getting runner up i.e. a fleece rather than a holiday.


“Wait,” said Clark handing me the spray, “You have to know the Bear Drill.
He’ll most likely be standing up to get a better look at you. Make yourself as big as you can. Don’t challenge him by looking at him. Say, ‘Bear, I didn’t mean to trespass into your territory, I’m backing down.’ You just start backing down. Don’t run. With luck he’ll go, but he may rush you and knock you over. Lie spread-eagled on your front so he can’t claw your guts out - and protect your neck. Hope he quits. Don’t spray this unless he charges.”


After that I thought I might be better staying in and chatting with Susie all day, but husband dragged me out.

You also have to worry about reindeer.....here


www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/06/reindeer_attack/
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Re: Livestock, Your Tips and Advice Pls

Postby GillSte » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:32 pm

You're absolutely right about behaving as the farmer does. If bullocks or cows start getting a bit too frisky, just walk towards them (turn round if necessary). They will soon scatter. Raising your arms can help too (makes you look bigger and more scary). Walking poles are also useful. If you've got cattle blocking a gateway or similar, slap their bums gently, push them out of the way, and they will go. But never, ever try any of this (a) if you've got a dog with you or (b) the cows have got young calves with them.
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