... so far.
I get the impression they really enjoy "teaching me a lesson" whenever they get the chance.
#1. Over-Grazing is BAD: And I don’t just mean stuffing yourself on appetizers to the point of excruciating pain. It is what happens when good people are forced to do bad things with cows… like having too many of them in too small of a pasture for just long enough that they totally mow down every edible blade of grass that competes with the weeds that aren’t. Among other infestations, it can lead to… and don’t even get me started on... the scourge that IS, Tar Weed.
#2 Tailgating can kill you: Never walk behind a cow or calf closer than about eight feet. One sharp noise or rude comment about their weight and you’ll be waking up, flat on your back in cow poo wondering how to spell “Fractured Sternum.”
#3. Avoid butt-heads: A full-grown cow’s head weighs, I’m guessing, about 60 pounds all by itself. When attached to an irritated bovine, in addition to housing all that pent-up angst and resentment for being treated like some kind of common farm animal, it can also, when swung properly, act as a very effective human catapult capable of slinging the average 150-pound individual roughly six to eight feet. I have personal experience to back up this assertion, in case you’re skeptical about my authority on the subject.
#4. Beware of sticky situations: Cow poo is the lesser-known forerunner of Velcro®. Just try to get it off your boots.
#5. Watch your step: No matter how much room they have. No matter how many times I muck out the barn to keep it a pleasant, healthy place for them to sleep and eat. Every… single… day… somebody leaves a “pie” RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DOOR WAY. I have come to believe this is their idea of a joke. ha. ha. ha. See lesson #4.
#6. Don't let yourself be intimidated: Staring down 600 pound animals on a daily basis takes a certain amount of panache... or at least it does when you're a chick who has only been living closely with cows for about three years. Any large animal vet can tell you that cows are prey animals and they know it. All you have to do is act like you're bigger than them, they believe it and that leaves you pretty much in control.
I use a combination of a firm tone of voice, sharp movements and bribery to get them to make me think they're submitting to my will. I don't even feel the need to carry a baseball bat when I get anywhere near them anymore so I think I've made brilliant progress... I am, however, not above leaping to relative safety over a stall gate with the grace and agility of a drunken hippo should my projection of confidence and superiority prove unconvincing.
Truth is, I love the big hairy dears. I think they can sense that and choose to let me feel like I'm in charge... at least as long as I keep making with the cow candy and sweet talk...
That's all the barnyard wisdom I have to impart for now.
Until Bossy, Princess and the Girls school me further... Ciao, Yall!