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Cows as pets or companions

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  • Cows as pets or companions

    Does anyone keep cows as pets or companions?

  • #2
    In addition to a horse, if I had the money I'd get me one of those Longhorn riding steer. would that count?

    Comment


    • #3
      They are too hard on fencing for my tastes.

      Comment


      • #4
        I know someone who has a Jersey milk cow. She has the AI tweaked to favor female calves and sells them on to others that want good house cows, as she calls them. Despite that she ended up with a male calf one or two years, and now her little boy is doing oxen for 4H! With these little Jersey something cross steers.

        The milk cow was just adorable.

        I could do without stepping in cow patties though. And they do bring along a whole other kind of fly problem. If you are in rural land though you probably already have those.

        Ime horses kept in suburbs miles away from any cows dont attract the horrible flies you get in the countryside.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Susan P View Post
          Does anyone keep cows as pets or companions?
          For horses or people? :-)

          Comment


          • #6
            I've had Longhorn and loved them. Ours had been raised around humans so they were fairly tame. Too old to train to ride, though! Brahma/Brahman are another favorite of mine. They're not common (at least in my neck of the woods). I knew two bulls that were a beautiful slate blue color and just the gentlest things you could imagine despite their massive size. Or what about a mini cow breed? Less manure, less feed, less mess.

            The key with any cow is early socialization. Not surprisingly, bottle babies grow up to be the friendliest, IME.

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            • #7
              We had a bottle baby Jersey bull (who became a steer in short order) who was a delightful "pet". Very affectionate and smart. The cow patties were the worst part.
              "Dogs give and give and give. Cats are the gift that keeps on grifting." —Bradley Trevor Greive

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              • #8
                As a teenager, I was known around the area as the kid to hire when you needed a calf bottle fed, so I raised quite a few over the years. I loved every single one of them and treated them as pets. I always hated having to give them back once they were weaned.

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                • #9
                  I had a cow that I rescued- she had been picked up by local knacker man, and was passing a bunch of blood, so she was headed to slaughter. I know nada about cows (well, except that they have four stomachs, and I can name three of them...) but I treated her and she recovered, and became the fattest Holstien I have ever seen. LOVED her. She was affectionate, and had a great sense of humor. She is also the reason I do not eat beef. RIP Cowie!
                  When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou
                  www.americansaddlebredsporthorse.net
                  http://www.asbsporthorse.blogspot.com/

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                  • #10
                    I have had many "pet" cows over the years that have lived with my horses. We have had as many as 100 head of Herefords, but I have always had 1 or 2 or 3 that were "pets". I currently have a little Jersey cross cow and she actually has her own stall in the barn, right alongside the horses. I don't mind the patties, they are easier to clean than chasing balls. She DOES attract more flies than the horses, but she gets fly sprayed just like the horses to bring her some relief. I have not noticed more flies on the property since having her, but she is managed just like the horses in that poop and yucky hay is picked up daily and not left to accumulate. Single cows are EASY to manage to eliminate flies. The herd of 100 DID cause more flies, but mainly because managing poop and wasted hay in the "feedlot" area where they overwintered and were fed grain, silage and round bales, could not occur on a daily basis. When spring rolled around, it was prime fly breeding area. It would get stripped with the FEL as soon as it dried out, but that often wasn't until early summer.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I’ve always wanted a pet cow. DH has cows that aren’t pets, will absolutely not let me have a pet cow.

                      The longhorns we got were raised more like pets and they are a total pain in the butt, always escaping 😂

                      His angus are like real working cows, the people we have cows with have a big ol steer who is broke to sit on. I think he’s pretty old now but serves a ‘purpose’ to lead the other cows to pasture.

                      My horses all chase cows so it wouldn’t work even if I wanted a pet cow. I have one horse who’s deathly terrified and then the other two who just want to work them.

                      A local friend has a super precious highland cow that’s halter broke, saddle broke, stands tied with the horses all day and also busts the fence weekly
                      https://www.instagram.com/streamlinesporthorses/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by streamline View Post
                        I’ve always wanted a pet cow. DH has cows that aren’t pets, will absolutely not let me have a pet cow.

                        The longhorns we got were raised more like pets and they are a total pain in the butt, always escaping 😂

                        His angus are like real working cows, the people we have cows with have a big ol steer who is broke to sit on. I think he’s pretty old now but serves a ‘purpose’ to lead the other cows to pasture.

                        My horses all chase cows so it wouldn’t work even if I wanted a pet cow. I have one horse who’s deathly terrified and then the other two who just want to work them.

                        A local friend has a super precious highland cow that’s halter broke, saddle broke, stands tied with the horses all day and also busts the fence weekly
                        Can you get a little milk cow for delicious milk yogurt and cream?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

                          Can you get a little milk cow for delicious milk yogurt and cream?
                          He said if I milk it everyday 😂 sounds like a hassle. I did get to AI heifers today so I do get some *pet cow* time
                          https://www.instagram.com/streamlinesporthorses/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sure they can be brilliant pets, if raised well. From pets to beasts of burden and even just a friendly face in the barn, animals like these produce thousands of products you use around the house every day and can be a great addition to your home, property, or small farm.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have a dairy heifer calf now but have had different dairy cow breeds before in a micro dairy. Cows are very smart and can be tamed and handled like a pet. Like dairy goats they thrive on routine. It depends on the individual temperament of the cow whether it is suited to be a pet. My heifer right now is very bossy and loud. She pushes the goats around but is respectful
                              of my horse. If someone has the space, a dairy steer would make a good pet given time and handling. Jerseys are my favorite breed and I use fly predators so no fly problem.
                              Caring for Clifford, my big red dog and assorted monkeys, I mean goats. Protected by a few loyal Anatolian Shepherd Dogs and Kangals.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Cattle can become pets even if raised out in pastures, with little handling.

                                We had several that became tame all on their own, here the story on two.
                                One Bitsy, a heifer that had a foot injury that required she be in a pen and treated and bandaged daily, first picture.
                                Unlike other cows, she didn't try to escape when we came in the pen, or fight us, but came to us for treats and let us handle her foot, even if it must have hurt, but then felt better once treated.
                                The other one, Jackie-Monster, she was huge, seemed to not quit growing, taller than any other, just decided on her own that people were interesting and what do you know, they also carry treats, is that fun.
                                She would come check you over, even if you were on a horse, second picture.

                                Now, a cow as a pet in your barn or house, well, they do what comes naturally and cow patties are a big mess to clean up, bigger the older they are.
                                Maybe a cow in your house or barn is not the best way to keep a cow for a pet.

                                Those pictures are of cattle we didn't handle as calves or made pets of on purpose.
                                They were raised wild but choose to be friendly all on their own, as many do:

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Redemption3 View Post
                                  I have a dairy heifer calf now but have had different dairy cow breeds before in a micro dairy. Cows are very smart and can be tamed and handled like a pet. Like dairy goats they thrive on routine. It depends on the individual temperament of the cow whether it is suited to be a pet. My heifer right now is very bossy and loud. She pushes the goats around but is respectful
                                  of my horse. If someone has the space, a dairy steer would make a good pet given time and handling. Jerseys are my favorite breed and I use fly predators so no fly problem.
                                  If you get a dairy steer be careful. The Holsteins are one of the largest breeds of oxen. I had one I inherited. He was easily 6 feet at the shoulder. Very friendly and halter broke, but not trained for anything.

                                  The first two pictures are Jerry, the horse he's with is a 15.1 H TB. The oxen are a pair of Holstein x milking shorthorns that were here for a demo. They are used for logging in Vermont I think.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My dad used to say the most dangerous animal on the farm was a pet cow. I've had several pet cows over the years and I can attest to that. You have to be very careful around them as they are very big, have no concept of boundaries, don't mind running over you and have a very high pain threshold. Pansy, our most notable, would knock you down over a bucket of feed. She injured my mother that way. She was useful as a Judas goat for the other cows when penning them.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Sandysmom View Post
                                      My dad used to say the most dangerous animal on the farm was a pet cow. I've had several pet cows over the years and I can attest to that. You have to be very careful around them as they are very big, have no concept of boundaries, don't mind running over you and have a very high pain threshold. Pansy, our most notable, would knock you down over a bucket of feed. She injured my mother that way. She was useful as a Judas goat for the other cows when penning them.
                                      Yeah, I'd add the caveat that you would need to teach the cow manners just like you teach a horse (or indeed a dog). My guess is that on a working farm, you could end up with the occaisional livestock animal that gets pet or semi-pet status, but no one would actually be taking the time to teach manners or commands to a cow or a pig.

                                      And like horses, they aren't animals you can be safe around if there is no training, and particularly if they are pets because they were bottle raised and allowed to crowd humans as babies.

                                      But people do and always have worked safely with oxen. I only learned in the past year that oxen isn't a specific breed, it just means cattle broke to do harness work! I expect in that case, you'd be teaching them all the same manners and commands as you would a horse.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Have Longhorns to maintain my ag exemption—adopted Sam who retired from the Fort Worth Stockyards cattle drive herd and he passed away at age 30. Tall-over 16.2 with huge twisted horns and sweet as could be. Have 2 steers now—Walter, who I've had since he was 3 months old, and Henry who was born here when I had a few longhorn cows. Walter is a sweetheart, Henry is piggy and not exactly mean, but he will hook at you a little if you mess with him. Once two OtTBs got over their initial shock of trying to figure out what they were, both were hell-bent on being friends with the steers! The steers.....not so much. They all respect each other and we have our routine so it all works. Had 2 riding steers about 10 years ago, Bingo and Tater Tot. Belonged to the ex-boyfriend and he later sold them, but they were pretty good boys too.

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