Raising cattle is not for the faint-hearted! Far too often farmers grow a deep fondness for each of their cows – something that takes them by the heart unexpectedly…
Are Cows Stupid Creatures?
A popular myth is that cows are simple creatures – not very smart. Yet studies have shown that they are actually the smartest in the barnyard, smarter even than pigs (who have now been documented to have the mental capacity of a three year old human child.
Pigs can be house-trained, walked on a leash, taught to fetch, sit, and much more.) Would it not stand to reason then that if we spent the same time with a cow even more parlor tricks could be accomplished?
If you’re under the impression that cows are of lesser intelligence than most animals you’ll change your mind once you’ve raised one.
Even if you’ve taken on raising a cow with the intention of beef in the freezer at a later date, you may be shocked to find yourself thinking of cattle more as beloved pets than as a food source. This is especially if you’ve ever had to bottle feed one, or nurse one back to health for any reason!
If you are wondering why YOUR cow might appear to be so dumb, check or change your notions about the beast – as with any animal they are incredibly intuitive!
You may find that you have only been given that which you expected! Your cow just might surprise you if you change your attitude! Studies have shown that cows are sensitive to owners who handle them with patience and care – more sensitive than a dog!
Raising A Healthy Herd
Cattle require a gentle hand and they all thrive on punctuality and routine. Be kind with them, follow a schedule and your herd will be healthier and stress-free.
My father-in-law used to raise Registered Polled Herefords for a grass fed beef marketplace product. These are a large beef breed of cattle and the last calf born on his farm was 140 lbs at birth. My uncle Al Shier from Bobcaygeon, Ontario was the first man to bring Limosin cattle into Canada and he, too, raises his herd with an appreciative hand – as such both these farmers are known for their exceptional beef in their respective communities.
Both dairy cows and beef cattle are equally challenging and rewarding. They are great, gentle creatures who deserve incredible respect for their patience and sacrifices to their human keepers. If you are raising cattle for milk, meat or market you’ll find that the cow, steer, heifer calf or bull raised with care is the one who’ll produce the most valuable end product!
Assisting a cow during the birth experience with a baby this size is not for the meek or timid.
It goes without saying that most bulls are raised only to a few years of age, then taken off to the cattle butchers – that can be a difficult task when you’ve helped bring the cow into the world or worse, if you’ve been the one at home feeding a newborn with a bottle for the first 4 months of his life. It takes an entirely new mindset, operating from a sense of logic rather than sentiment.
My Personal Experience with Raising Cows
I have raised (or helped to raise) just about every herd animal now and the most moving and mentality-altering experience I’ve had raising animals involved a bull beef calf. He was bought young to be raised for the sole purpose of sending to the freezer at full growth.
Not caring that I sound ridiculous here, I’ll share that I never ate one bit of that bull, and honestly I don’t each much beef now that I’ve had a hand in raising them.
However I am not judgmental of my family, who loves beef more than any other protein, or of anyone reading this – this is simply my personal journey told.
I didn’t spend any consequential time with that bull calf – but I stood with him once when he was ill and I checked in on him whenever I visited my friend’s barn. During those days something touched me about the life we give the animals we raise and my own methods changed from then on.
Feel free to drop me a line or submit a personal cattle related story. I realize that the world is made up of differing viewpoints on raising beef or eating beef. You don’t have to agree with my views on cows to collaborate. I’ll publish your essay on these cattle pages so that all may benefit!
Farm Tractor Auctions!
If you’re raising cattle you will need a tractor! But don’t be shoveling all that waste into a heap and leaving it to rot – cow manure is the magic ingredient in any country garden.
If you don’t have a tractor, check out the tractor sales below, plus over 300 others.