Friday, July 17, 2015

Cow Appreciation Day - Don't Say You Weren't Warned

Abby the Lab here while Mom is busy.  This week, on the 14th, was Cow Appreciation Day at Chick Fil a.  Mom LOVES Chick Fil a's food. She gets the grilled chicken sandwich or salad, fruit cup and a diet lemonade 2 or 3 days a week when she's working or the wrap with the flaxseed wrap and the oriental dressing followed by an ice cream cone or their diet soft serve/lemonade slushie thing.  It's on her way to work, no one at the drive up window has dreadlocks and face tackle and the food is pretty tasty.

But don't be fooled by those ever so  cute, friendly Chick Fil a cows.

Regular cows aren't like that.   I read in an article that you have more likelihood in the U.S. of being killed by a cow than struck and killed by lightning.

Yes - Cows.

Here's one disemboweling his latest victim.
Is there anything we can do about this danger?

-Cow locks required on all cows and cow pastures.
-The formation of organizations to keep the media informed of the danger, such as BADD (Bovines are Deadly, Dummy)
-Cow Owner Identification Cards (have it ready to show the law officer).
-N.C.R.A.: National Cow Registration Act requiring the registration and marking of all cows with non-removable serial numbers.

Perhaps not - but until there are better laws protecting people from cows, here are a few safety tips.

Yes, cows, seen in screen and print as a gentle lowly creature, the cow can easily turn into a grumpy mooing menace. Mom has lived on a farm, she KNOWS.

Think about it, you're doing a bit of pheasant hunting, crossing land you got permission to roam, having a wonderful time. The sky is balmy, the birds singing in the trees. Then up ahead, you head the yell of one of your companions. You run up ahead to find him scrambling up the tree as Mr. Bull tries to give him the "high five" with a horn.  You turn and run, but guess what. He's gaining, and you're next.

You might be surprised to know that few people know how to defend themselves from cow attack. Between 2003 and 2008, 108 people died from cattle-induced injuries across the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The majority of cow-related fatalities were caused by blunt force trauma to the head or chest; with over a third of the victims working in enclosed spaces with cattle. Normally, the perpetual battle between man and bovine is one-sided (and involves steak sauce). But people who work around cattle have associated risks, and have to be aware of both the animal and their surroundings at all time. "Like what they say about dogs, they can smell fear," one local rancher said.

But you're thinking? I'm not a farmer, I don't have a ranch. Why should I worry about cow attack? Well I worry about running out of treats, of vacuum cleaner conventions, of having "fresh and minty breath" when I'm out on a date with my favorite wiener dog.  So for those that worry entirely too much about such things - ome cow safety tips.

How to tell a Gentle Cow from a Really Angry Cow.

See the difference?

Now, don’t get mixed up, non angry cows can still be dangerous in certain conditions. But it can be difficult to tell them apart. Color, however, is not a reliable identifying characteristic for either sex and the claws, which can rival that of Wolverine of the X-men, are difficult to see at a distance.

Precautions when camping in cow country. Now that you know to watch for a cow that's in a bad MOOd (pun intended). it’s time to learn what you can do to prevent an attack when camping out. Do not cook or store food in or near your tent, unless your tent is equipped with the latest in anti-cow technology. Do not sleep in the clothing you cook in and properly stow garbage, wash dishes and wipe down any tabletops. Hang food and anything with strong odors (toothpaste, bug repellent, haggus, etc.) out of the reach of cows, if possible. If no trees are available, store your food in airtight or specially designed cow-proof containers. Avoid taking odorous foods and keep food smells off your clothing, lest you be molested or mugged and have your wallet stolen by gangs of cows.

Hiking in Cow Country. You must avoid surprising the cow at close range. If the terrain makes it hard for them to see you as your approach, make lots of noise. Talk loudly, wear a bell, sing the Monty Python Lumberjack song. If spotted by a cow, try to get its attention while it is a good distance away. Help the cow to recognize that you are a human by talking to it in a normal voice, waving your arms. Try not and travel alone. In a group, cows will attack the weakest link. Try and hike with people much slower and fatter than yourself and if the cow rushes you, point at that obnoxious guy with short legs that complained the entire hike.

Watch for signs that cows are in the area. That can include rubs and scrapes, cow patties, unusual explosions and booby traps involving spikes. Identifying these clues may help to prevent an encounter.
If you Encounter a Cow. Remain calm and avoid sudden movements. Give the cow plenty of room, allowing it to continue its activities undisturbed. Every living thing has a zone of danger or personal space -- that is, the distance within which a cow feels threatened. If it changes its natural behavior (feeding, foraging or hay huffing) because of your presence, you are too close. If you push that limit, the cow may react aggressively in the form of a bluff charge, or even an outright attack. Cows are famous for the bluff charge and may run at you and suddenly stop or continue right at you. You never know, which it will be, they have a terrible poker face. If they charge and stop, try and stand still and slowly back away. If they continue, try and get something between you and the cow, trees, outbuildings, a chili cook-off. Then get away from the cow as quickly as you can.

If a confrontation is unavoidable. Kick, punch, yell, the welfare of the animal is not important if your life is at risk (and how much damage do you think you are going to do to a 1300 pound side of beef?)

Do not play dead. Unless you want a fresh steaming cow pile on your head.

Don't get cornered. Like politicians you elect, trust them and get used to how they work, but don't trust them so much that you ever turn your back on them. Avoid getting into a confined space with cows. A lot of farmers are killed when cows smashed them against the sides of gates, fences and barns.

Don't forget the little ones. A calf may be cute but don't forget its "protective and charging at you Mama" is not. When a cow gives birth she becomes another animal, one that a bottle of Midol, a backrub, and a glass of White Wine will NOT help improve the mood of.

Thanks for listening to our cow safety tips - Next week - the barn cat - ignoring you or plotting something involving mice and C4.
Hope you all had a smile and a nice evening - Mom's heading back to work but we'll have a post up Sunday. 

Abby Lab


  1. Have you read the horror-comedy "Apocalypse Cow" and its sequel "World War Moo"? Mad Cow Disease in the UK mutates in a zoological zombie outbreak.

  2. BOL BOL! Dat are why I appreciate cows in burger form best.

  3. Hari Om
    Crikey, what a read... apart from the glaring error of classing MR BULL in with MRS COW... there are some good tips here. The main tip is if you're not a farmer stay well away! If you are the farmer, don't be complacent.

    In the UK there is a 'right of way' ruling on farming land, which can cause some issues... this is an excellent and highly pertinent read on the subject. (Those with dogs ought to take particular note.) You will see there that there have been 12 fatalities of death by cow in the last 6 years here. Compare this with TORRO's report which says"Lightning is dangerous. Currently, about 30-60 people are struck by lightning each year in Britain of whom, on average, three may be killed. This compares with about 75 deaths in the much larger USA." You can see the lightning stats for USA HERE. The average deaths by 'cow' in the US is 20.

    This very week, two folk died in Wales from lightning strike. Cattle appreciation? Yup, gimme cattle over lightning any day! (Sorry, this ol' farm gal is also a bit of a statistics nut...&*>)

    Thanks for the very valid tips and hints though Abby!!! Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx


Welcome to The Book of Barkley and the Blogville dog blogging community. This blog was created for more memories of Barkley as well as updates on Abby the Senior rescue Lab, who we adopted in 2014.

Stop in and say hello. However, comments from strangers offering business links will NOT be posted. I