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ibstubro's avatar

How much do you know about the emotional well being of cows?

Asked by ibstubro (12530 points ) March 6th, 2014

It seems cows jump for joy and love a change of scenery.

Also noteworthy if you’re undecided on opening the link: cows can jump 5–6” high, and in Finland jumping cows (‘bovine agility’) contests are an official activity.

Have fun with it.

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32 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

The cows around here are generally much more bovine.

Here’s the herd that visited my sister’s lower field late last fall for some extra grazing.

We spent a lot of time staring at them. No jumping that we saw, but of course they weren’t Finnish cows. In the photo, out of the 15, there is only one that is actually standing up.

Juliasmile's avatar

Does that mean 14 of them are ‘Ground beef?’

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Juliasmile Nah, they go to Ponderosa or Great Outback Steakhouse. Cows don’t like a change in scenery though. They hate change. Most good farmers concentrate on cow comfort. The idea is a happy cow is a productive cow.

keobooks's avatar

If you want to learn about cow behavior, there are some books by Temple Grandin on the subject. She’s mostly famous for her autism, but she wrote at least one animal behavior book.

“Animals in Translation”—She wrote about things she learned about cows studying slaughterhouses. She worked on making them more comfortable for the cows so they wouldn’t stampede. They went nuts over little things—a man in a yellow shirt freaked them all out once. She invented the “Stairway to Heaven”—the perfect ramp to go up and get slaughtered if you’re a cow.

ibstubro's avatar

I’ve been raised around cows all my life (from a distance), @gailcalled, and my experience has been much the same as your picture.

Moo! @Juliasmile (lol)

” Anne Marie de Passille, a Canadian researcher who studies the play behavior of cows…[says cows] love a change of scenery.” A colleague was quoted as agreeing, @Adirondackwannabe. Are you disputing a researcher that studies the play behavior of cows??

That’s surreal, in a way, @keobooks. Have you read the book? For what reason? PM me if you’re more comfortable.

Cruiser's avatar

I know that cows are very attracted to remote control cars

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

^^^^ And you know this how? Share the story.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@ibstubro You want to argue with a guy that’s pulled on thousands of teats and could identify every cow in the herd by sight? They don’t like anything different in their day to day life. Maybe they might like a vacation from time to time, but I never saw a cow Club Med.

Cruiser's avatar

@Jonesn4burgers I just did…The video did not visually explain this to you??

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Cruiser That’s hilarious. They are so attracted to it but not sure what it is. Although there were a bunch of steers (I’m guessing) mixed in there.

Cruiser's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I loved how the herd parted to allow it through and then dutifully took off after it!

Michael_Huntington's avatar

They seem moo-dy

Coloma's avatar

Hey, I used to take care of “Walter” my neighbors steer during his fattening days when his owners traveled.
I loved Walter. He was very smart, he learned to turn the hose on with his lips and would play in the puddles. He was always happy to see you and when Walter was done in by the mobile butcher and I was offered some Walter beef I couldn’t handle it.
RIP dear funny Walter.

I also have friends that have 2 riding steers, they are pets and go on trail rides.
I wish I could post pictures of “Dozer.”
@Gailcalled has seen the pictures.
Get along little Longhorn.

ibstubro's avatar

@Cruiser, that literally mooved me to tears. Tears of laughter. Dad probably stomped the car for fear the cows would be skinny as gazelles if the kid was allowed to exercise them like that day after day. Damn, I bet you could raise some prize-winning Finnish heifers, that way, though!

I wonder if that’s been replicated. You know, it could be that only one, lead cow was curious, and the rest followed. I believe the video was real, I doubt that it is typical. WAY more fun than cow tipping.

Coloma's avatar

Hah! Great video, I just sent it to my cowboy/cutting horse/ friends.

ibstubro's avatar

Well, @Adirondackwannabe, keep an eye out for a ‘jump-for-joy’. Franky, were I you, I’d be arguing that the video shows a lugubrious, slow animal that’s exercising it’s muscles on release into a field.

I wish we could see the ‘riding steers’, too, @Coloma.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@ibstubro Will do. I’ll also look for some other jumping cow videos for you.

filmfann's avatar

I know the children’s story of the cow that jumped over the moon. He must have jumped higher after that!

ibstubro's avatar

Thanks, @Adirondackwannabe!

I had a hard time believing the first picture in this story? You?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@ibstubro That’s wild. Most cows won’t jump like that.

ibstubro's avatar

I just can’t credit it, @Adirondackwannabe. If we could post pictures in question, I would post it here to see if someone could shoot it out of the air blow it out of the water.

Coloma's avatar

Wow….that cow and rider taking a jump, amazing!
My friends riding steers just amble along but cows are not known for their agility.
Incredible!

gailcalled's avatar

All of the cows here, and there are probably more of them in our sparsely populated county than people, are calm, content and emotionally joyful without the need for counterproductive leaping.

ibstubro's avatar

That could probably largely be said of the people, too @gailcalled?

gailcalled's avatar

Well, this area is also the summer home of nationally renowned ”Jacob’s Pillow, a dance center, school and performance space located…in the Berkshires. The organization is known for the oldest internationally acclaimed summer dance festival in the United States.”

Driving to the Pillow, one sees lots of cows as well as horses, sheep, goats, llamas, chickens, ducks, geese and dogs. I love living here.

keobooks's avatar

@ibstubro I read the book because I worked in a bookstore and we had it. I used to read voraciously anything I got my hands on that sounded vaguely interesting.

zenvelo's avatar

So many cows just want to horn in on other cow’s fun. You just gotta steer them in the right direction. I mean it, no bull!

ibstubro's avatar

I meant to imply bucolic more than boring, @gailcalled.

It still sounds vaguely interesting, @keobooks. Was it worth reading?

Har! @zenvelo. Punny. :)

Coloma's avatar

Nothing is sweeter than bottle fed calf that will suck on your fingers. All cows should live happy cow lives, doing happy cow things until the end. Stockyards are evil.

Cruiser's avatar

@Coloma Bottle feed any creature and they will instantly steal your heart and mama papa instincts take over. I love my 2 human offspring…but also treasure each little critter I had the pleasure to raise.

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