Sunday, March 9, 2008

Reading a cow's body language. Lesson 1

I have been trampled, stomped, kicked, butted, fell on, squished, knocked down, had my truck charged, had my Honda 4 wheeler tossed about 6 foot in the air once by a mighty well pissed off bull. In short, any kind of punishment that a bovine type creature can deal out... I have been the recipient of said punishment at some point in my life, and I feel every single one of those incidents every day when I get up.

I used to revel in being in the middle of a cow fracas and was quick enough to dodge most hooves and heads. Nowdays, I prefer standing on a gate as to being in the middle of 50 head of 1000 pound cows in a barn corral. Things hurt me more the older I get, and what's worse, I heal slower.

When Sal and I started dating and I showed her my cows, she was more than a little intimidated by the size of 'em... never having been close to a cow in her life. She'd had sheep and such, but cows were a whole new game for her. I tried to reassure her that it was pretty safe being in the close proximity of a cow if you learned to think like a cow and understand her body language.

You can imagine the look and reaction that a gentleman receives when he encourages his date that it's best if she thinks like a cow.

Next stop is the florist to fix that.

Anyhow, I've got a couple of pictures to help illustrate a couple of cow poses that best demonstrate some cow body language. In this first picture you see a brand new baby calf, about 30 minutes old, mostly licked clean by his momma and doing the stumbly, hop walk getting his earth legs.

Okay, now look carefully at the tilt of the momma cow's ears. See how she's holding her head up high? See how she has positioned herself so that she's kind of hovering over her new baby? Okay, here's what this bit of cow body language means in human terms.

"Mr. farmer Carhart wearin' man... one step closer and I'm gonna dole out an ass kicking that's gonna make you wanna gladly go home to be with the Lord 'cause you're gonna linger on the edge of life for a week or two first."

There's a slight variation of this body language that doesn't give you that 2 week lingering. You just die.

The next pose that you'll generally see is this one, immediately following the last pose.

Even the common layman, or city person can identify this bit of cow body language. To verbalize what the cow is saying in this pose...

"That's right, you better run, round boy. HA! I laugh at your puniness!"


Katie said...

Good information to know. We are closer to cow behavior than we let on.

lilsis said...


Cowguy said...

Katie said: "We are closer to cow behavior than we let on."

Very likely, 'cept for that whole poopin' where we eat thing.

lilsis said: "llllllllllloooser!"

LOL Might be what she's saying, but they can't do the "L" sign on their foreheads without tipping over.

Jerry in Michigan said...

Great writing, Jace, but the illustrations do say it best. Spent a lot of time on a pig farm with the grandparents. You can't read a pig. At least I never could. Just learned to be ready to jump really fast....

LMAO re "can't do the 'L' sign...."

SalemHouse said...

When my sister married a dairy farmer, my family got to know a few cows, luckily without any painful encounters. Alas, they left the farm, but kept the farmer in their hearts. Enjoying your blog immensely!