You may have noticed I wasn’t very responsive during much of April. That’s because I took an extended “Farmcation” for about 3 weeks. I just returned to work on Monday and should be a bit more responsive now.
I won’t bore you with all the details but I wanted to share one thing.
Cows are cool animals in many ways. Sometimes they frustrate the crud out of me because they can be so dumb but usually they are calm, friendly, curious, timid animals. Mostly that’s true about bulls but bulls can be very scary. They are such big powerful animals that it boggles the mind. Bulls can also be more unpredictable than most cows so you always want to be very careful around them. I’ve only had a bull charge me once, but that’s enough for one lifetime 🙂
As a general rule, we keep 2 bulls (we have enough cows to warrant it). When it isn’t breeding season, the bulls hang out together along with a couple of steer for extra company. Every so often, we have to buy a new bull and retire an old one to avoid inbreeding. This year was one of those years. After we buy a new bull, they have to stay in quarantine (in a field by themselves) for several weeks so we can ensure they aren’t bringing any disease into the herd. Once quarantine is over, we put the bulls together. In early April, our new bull’s quarantine ended so I put them together. Here is a video of what that looks like:
This is just one small snippet of the experience. This can easily go on for an hour or more. Basically, this is how bulls establish dominance. They push each other around until one decides the other is too strong and gives up (assuming the stronger is ready for him to give up – if not he pushes him around whether he likes it or not :)). It’s amazing how occupied they are during this. They pretty much ignore everything around them – people, food, other cows, fences, everything. It’s funny to me that the two younger steer watch, stay out of the way and get ignored. It’s also funny to me that that smaller bull (the red one, named Helios) mostly dominated the fight. The black one (Black Bill, who is the new bull) is quite a bit larger but Helios generally did more of the pushing.
The truth is that just about any cow, steer or bull can/will do this when they meet for the first time or after having been separated for a while. It’s just most impressive with bulls because they are so big.
Anyway, I thought you might enjoy a diversion for a few minutes.