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Cows as pets or companions

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  • Susan P
    started a topic Cows as pets or companions

    Cows as pets or companions

    Does anyone keep cows as pets or companions?

  • skydy
    replied
    Originally posted by gradytb View Post

    Old Sam was so funny. One day I was in the feed room, which just has a regular people door. I was getting supper ready and I hear something RIGHT behind me and I turned around, and Sam, his head and shoulders—and giant horns—were now in there with me! He just wanted some cubes. They know EXACTLY where their horns are, and as long as you don't try to shoo them or scare them, they will turn their heads, and navigate everything back out of whatever they get into.!
    That is fascinating. Thanks. I know almost nothing about cattle.

    Other than helping to herd a recalcitrant herd of Holsteins from woods to field and having had a herd show up in my yard one morning (many years ago) I am ignorant but for what I have learned on COTH.

    Leave a comment:


  • gradytb
    replied
    Oops -trying to figure out the photo thing here. Click image for larger version

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    Old Sam!

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  • gradytb
    replied
    Originally posted by StormyDay View Post

    I am always amazed at how gentle Longhorns are. They are the sweetest cows. At the last fair I was at, a man had a bunch there and he was giving rides on his longhorns! Like pony rides but with cows
    Old Sam was so funny. One day I was in the feed room, which just has a regular people door. I was getting supper ready and I hear something RIGHT behind me and I turned around, and Sam, his head and shoulders—and giant horns—were now in there with me! He just wanted some cubes. They know EXACTLY where their horns are, and as long as you don't try to shoo them or scare them, they will turn their heads, and navigate everything back out of whatever they get into.!

    Leave a comment:


  • StormyDay
    replied
    Originally posted by gradytb View Post
    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.
    I am always amazed at how gentle Longhorns are. They are the sweetest cows. At the last fair I was at, a man had a bunch there and he was giving rides on his longhorns! Like pony rides but with cows

    Leave a comment:


  • gradytb
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scribbler
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sandysmom
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Christa P
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bluey
    replied
    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:

    Leave a comment:


  • Redemption3
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • SettleDownNow
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • streamline
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Scribbler
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • streamline
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • moving to dc
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • ASB Stars
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • Gainer
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • chestnutmarebeware
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wanderosa
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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