Intimidated by cow :o(

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Momof8kiddoes, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. Momof8kiddoes

    Momof8kiddoes Well-Known Member

    Mar 15, 2005
    Ok, so I feel stupid....
    Ive been searching for months for a jersey, I find one, go look at it...and you know, the thing really intimidated me. Nothing she did really...a little shy to strangers, but she let me milk her. Its just that...frankly...she was so big!! The owner even mentioned that she was smaller for her breed...gasp!
    How do you guys do it? They are SO seems like they could swash you at any given time, yk?
    How do I get over this? Do I just buy one, and dig in, and the feeling will leave as I get to know her?
    Sigh..I guess Im just disappointed in myself. Im a city girl, gone country, but gosh...we really need a good family milk cow.
    The one I went to see was, come to find out, way overpriced ($2500-and she isnt even registered!), so I will keep looking. I guess I just wish I knew what I could do in the meantime, to get over this...anyone?
  2. JanO

    JanO Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 16, 2003
    Western Washington
    Mary is there a farmer or ranch near you that will let you go out and work with their cows? Maybe if you had somebody that is experienced with you, to help you overcome the intimidation, you will soon come to terms with their size and learn a few tricks to working with them. Maybe you can work out a deal that will be benificial to both of you. Cows really are gentle creatures, but they can seem large and overpowering if your not used to them.

    Good luck and don't give up. I'm sure it's all going to work out and then your going to wonder how you did without one for so long. :haha:

  3. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

    Dec 13, 2004
    New York
    Some people are scared of a horse. But your not alone, I knew of people who were scared of cows, and talked to some that are. They think "it'll attack me". Thing is, a gentle cow is as harmless as a snail. Can't say dog, because a dog can snap at any moment (some). Sometimes cows will come up, and bump you, itch their head (some of ours do). That might freak some out, but all they are doing is itching their head, your leg is a good "post". Your best bet might be to get something younger, something smaller than you. So you can get used to it as it grows. Just make sure it's fed well. Ask a good vet, some will help you out. I say a vet, because some farmers won't help, while others will. But i'd start with a 4-6 month old Jersey, or Brown swiss (Swiss are very gentle). Jerseys are fine, but they do have more of a personality. You might find some registered calves going for 1000.00, don't be shocked. Stay away from an auction, never know what they have. I know of someone who bought a calf, 200.00. He spent 800.00 getting it healthy again.

    Now when you go look, pending the little heifer is friendly. Pet her, but as you do, rub your hands over her ribs, belly, chest etc. See if there any oddities. Check the hide over, see if it has lice, ringworm etc. Don't buy one with horns, dehorning is not pleasant (did 4 recently, used a device called a giatine, and yes it looks just like one, hand held). I don't like it, because these animals aren't overly happy with me, one is fine. But one runs away, the other two are ok. They will get over it, but still it isn't fun. So go after one dehorned. Check the udder, look for any additional teats, 4 vs 5. But what YOU want, is something friendly, nice solid body, and healthy overall. From my own personal experience, and even myself. If someone comes along, or I go somewhere. They are looking at you, and seeing if you know what is going on. Some will take you for a fool, and rip you off. Don't take offense to this, but a farmer can spot a city person a mile away. One of our hay customers lives mostly in NYC, and it does shine through. As I said, please don't take offense to that, it's something to keep in mind.

  4. Jim in MO

    Jim in MO Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002

    I wish you were close to us so you could see my wife around our cows. She’s 5’3” weighs next to nothing and does great with them. She can barely see over her back when she stands next to her. She originally grew up in Los Angles and was the ultimate city girl until I stole her away and sprung this lifestyle on her. So don’t give up.

    Jim in MO
  5. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2004
    New Zealand
    Hi Mary,
    Confidence girl! Stick with looking for a Jersey or even a Guernsey. Generally speaking, they are the smallest of the dairy breeds as well as having placid natures. Just think of those lovely dished faces and limpid eyes. The Jersey is a lovely cow and if there is a nasty one amongst them, I've yet to find it.
    When you find one that you can afford and you like, give her a name and then start talking to her - doesn't matter what rubbish you spout, just talk. I'm a great believer in talking to the animals and I'm sure my neighbours think I'm a sandwich short of a picnic but I don't really care. We are in the process of having our drive graded and remetaled before winter and the dorky truck driver dumped the limestone in a nice straight line between the cowshed and the cattle yards with the result that we can't get into the cowshed. I climbed this pile of limestone calling the cows by name and they all followed me, slipping and slithering but we got there. The first to follow was the Jersey, the second was the Jersey/Friesian and the third (always the last) was the Hereford/Friesian. But it all goes to show that you and your cow will end up having a good rapport.

    If you don't feel confident about a cow is it an option for you to have a milking goat? I've never owned one but understand that they are great animals although they do need a little extra care in terms of feed and are prone to foot problems. Something to think on.

    Jim, I'm slightly less than 5ft tall and at last count weighed 43kg. My husband gets a huge laugh when I'm handling our bull because at his shortest point he is still taller than me.

  6. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

    Mar 11, 2004
    Northeastern Minnesota
    Herself is sometimes a little nervous around our cattle. The Jerseys are big babies but she is still some flighty around them. Our two cows weigh 900 and 1000 lbs. respectively, and that puts them at 9 or 10 times her weight and 3 times my wieght.

    It's more likely that a gentle cow will be stepped under than the handler stepped on.
  7. Patty0315

    Patty0315 Well-Known Member

    Feb 1, 2004
    Geesh 2500.00 I have one not registered I would let go for 2000.00. Wish I could get those prices :rolleyes: Were about are you ? I have a cow I am milking now if you are close by to learn on . I am only 5'1 former city girl who tends to 6 adult cows , 12 calves ,30 goats,8 sheeps 9 horses three of which are belgians mostly by myself as Hubby works off the farm.
  8. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2004
    Don't feel bad there are large Jerseys and small ones. I just measured mine and she weighs 775 lbs. And the price is outrageous. I'm thinking about selling mine, if I do I'll probably ask around $1000 only because she is halter trained, very gentle, and trained as a nurse cow. Keep looking and have patience, you will find one. I looked for six months until I found this one.
  9. beeman97

    beeman97 Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2003
    Southern Tier NY.
    I would not recommend that you buy a cow at present if you are truely afraid or intimadated by them, i would suggest that you find somewhere to spend some time around the animals before you dive in head 1st on this project.
    While jerseys in general can & are gentle creatures as a hole, they can detect like most other animals when something is afraid of them. this is not a good thing to say the least. not to mention that if you do buy one that is in milk you will not have the choice to aviod it because milking HAs to occur regardless of the feelings involved. So ,, find a farm or extension office, or 4h club that will let you be a part of something related to cows & get used to there size, there behaviours, & the things to watch out for. doing this in advance will get you started out on the right road & will make your experience with your cow down the road much more rewarding for both you & your cow.
    JMO of course.
  10. luvrulz

    luvrulz Well-Known Member Supporter

    Feb 3, 2005
    We're in Kentucky - close to you Mary?? Visit me if you want to visit! LOL

    Our Jersey cow is gentle as can be and we milk her daily. (She's docile as long as you don't get in between her and the corn bucket! LOL) We have other heifers and one bull calf about a month old. I used to be pretty careful around them and still have learned not to bend over to pick up anything off the barn floor.... Or to get too comfortable around them.

    I have been stepped on, booted 10 feet across the barn (huge JerAngus cross) and licked and head butted. They are very affectionate and can be tamed down easily. We baby ours and they all eat out of our hands.....

    It's something you work at and consciously do to get them tamed down. And as long you're a little afraid, that's good! You will be cautious and aware while you're around them. I keep a stick handy for when they get rambuncious and I need to show them who is boss. They know and usually all I have to do is have the stick - hardly use it - but it's there!

    Good luck with your purchase too! The price you mentioned was very high. Keep looking and you'll know when you find the right deal/right cow!
  11. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

    Dec 7, 2002
    Dysfunction Junction
    Well, it's still a cow, and cows are BIG!

    A gentle cow still can stand on your foot by accident. Dawnna was so calm and friendly that you could be pitching a *itch, trying to shove her off your foot, and she'd just stand there, giving you a mildly questioning look, like 'What's the problem?'

    She also sprinted around the corner for her grain once, and I got caught between her and the corner of the barn ... ouch!

    Momof8, perhaps you'd be wise to start out with goats? Get a doe who's accustomed to being milked ... it will build up your confidence in milking (and hand strength! :D ) on a creature who is much less intimidating.

    (Although I have here a little doe who just kidded for the first time, and she put up as much fight about being milked as some heifers I've dealt with!!! :eek:)
  12. Momof8kiddoes

    Momof8kiddoes Well-Known Member

    Mar 15, 2005
    A BIG THANKS to you all for responding. It really gave me lots to think on.
    I already have goats (someone suggested that), and was at first imtimidated by them also (I thought for sure they would butt me good!) Now, I laugh about it...they are really easy to care for, even when they are putting up a stink!
    I will call a gal down the road (she brings me my hay) and see if I can help her for a few days, see how it goes. She has both dairy and beef.
    Thanks all, again, I really appriciate the input!
    Mary F.
  13. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2005
    northern Oklahoma
    This is why I want a calf to raise. I think the calf won't scare me as it gets large. We have beef cattle and they can be spooky. I know the way a steer stands, walks, flips his tail, holds his head or rolls his eyes, means you better watch him. We dehorn everything. I get my boys so used to me that they'll walk up and eat from my hand by mid summer, but they are still to be watched. You've got to think like a steer. Mostly steers are so young they are just scared. Cows, on the other hand, are protective and will attack if you mess with them or their calves. Bulls can just be downright psycho. This is Beef animals here, not dairy animals. I've also seen beef bulls that will follow a little lady around like a puppydog too, wherever she carried the feed sack, and never caused trouble.

    I also have goats. They haven't intimidated me at all. I wasn't even intimidated by the 250 pound buck until he attacked me the other day. I was catching the kids to wean them off the moms. I think he was either protecting the herd, or felt I was rivaling him for the does. I don't know, but I needed to be rescued. I had to hold his horns and go round in circles withhim until somebody came to open the gate and help me out. I've got very colorful bruises on my thighs where he got in a couple of really good swipes. I'm a bit wary of him nowadays. I tried twisting his head around to make him fall like a calf. Guess what? Goats are very surefooted and have very flexible necks.