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From my local newspaper, the Watertown Daily Times.

Anyone who EVER thinks about keeping a bull around should read this. Unfortunately, I read articles like this every few years because it's a dairy area.

BANGOR - A 55-year-old North Bangor man died after being attacked by a Jersey bull, according to New York State Police.
Troopers said Wednesday that they had responded on Sept. 5 to a report of an unresponsive male at 1754 County Route 8 in the town of Bangor. Matthew L. Boyea was taken by Bangor Rescue to Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone, where police said life saving measures were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at 1:31 p.m. by Dr. Michael Garber.
Franklin County Coroner Brian Langdon ordered an autopsy, which was conducted by pathologist Dr. Leonardo Dishman at Alice Hyde Medical Center. Police said the autopsy revealed that Mr. Boyea sustained massive internal injuries, including a severed spine, multiple fractured ribs and severe internal bleeding. The cause of death was determined to be a fractured thoracic spine and ribs, and bilateral hemothorax.
Troopers said their investigation revealed that Mr. Boyea, a farmhand at the Barry White Farm, was attacked at the farm by a Jersey bull that was known to be aggressive and unpredictable. Mr. Langdon ruled the manner of death to be accidental.
 

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Our local VFD is getting ready to have the yearly Ox roast.. This year the Bovine of Honor belongs to the Fire Chief. He said it has to go because it's gotten pretty mean, and he doesn't want any of his grand kids hurt.. They help tend to the cattle and horses..
 

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Thats terrible to see. People dont understand that its in thier nature to be agressive even the nice cute little cuddly calf that was raised and handled all thier lives more often then not will show some aggresion. I was raised on a dairy farm and had a dairy farm and now have beef cows and in 37 years had very few bulls around. When had bulls they would be very young and if looked at anyone funny they were gone. Best bull is in a semen tank never git mean!
People also need to remember cows git agressive to i had a year old hiefer last fall out of my best cow tied in barn and she was nice and calm. My 7 year old daughter walk down manger and hiefer would try to get her with her head. Not play git her down right mean try to git her. Practicly gave her away but she wasnt stayin another day not worth keepin anythin thats agressive and unpredictable. Cow or bull they need respect and some need beef truck.
 

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My neighbour was killed by a bull years ago, took about 6 hours before anyone knew he was gone. All they found was a piece of his torso the size of a basketball, everything else had been trampled so badly they couldn't recover it from the mud.
 

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Raised cows for years, had an old cow calf has she had done many times before walked over to look at her calf just like many times before and without warning she drove her head in my side and sent me air born about 20 feet. That's the second time I've had my ribs broke. Been kicked stomped etc. and this is with gentle cows. Who knows maybe coyotes or dogs had bothered her or maybe she just had a bad day. Point is there is a risk to raising large animals. You try to keep a gentle herd and always respect them but odds are if raise many for enough years you will get at least a close call or two.
 

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That's terrible. It would have been painful and terrifying, just an awful way to die.

Our bull has never shown one lick of attitude towards people, but we still don't take any chances with him. One time when I had to put hay out by myself, Bull went headfirst into the bale soon as I dropped it but I still needed to put the ring over it. So I bumped him at the shoulder with the ring and hollered at him, he backed right out and let me flop the ring over the bale. I was so relieved, because I was bluffing. If he didn't move -- that ring wasn't getting put on!
 

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My neighbour was killed by a bull years ago, took about 6 hours before anyone knew he was gone. All they found was a piece of his torso the size of a basketball, everything else had been trampled so badly they couldn't recover it from the mud.
Yikes.....

I was thinking of a Dexter (cow) someday...
 

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Some are injured or killed by bulls known to be aggressive. Some are injured or killed by bulls that had not shown signs of aggression until the incident. Either way, few were expecting it.
 

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I have a nice, calm, low-key Dexter bull. Have had him since he was a cute little weaned calf, and now he's a nice beefy bull with a cute little curly toupee. He's never shown a single sign of aggression, and I still keep at least a fence, corral panel, or preferably a pickup truck between me and him. My kids deserve to have their mother around.

Had the vet out a couple of months ago, and her helper asked if the bull was mean. I told him I'd never known the bull to be, but, you know, he is a bull.
 

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how heart breaking and sad for his family. I have a 2000 pound pet steer, big baby doll most of the time, and I am always, always careful even around him. I have a minature I handle daily, brushing, feeding ect...and still even with his small size aware of where he is and what he is doing every second I am in there. Same with the girls, even tho both are very small...man I hate to hear about this stuff. And I know even being careful things happen, I think people might want to always have someone, or a good farm dog (like I have) if messing about with a bull for any reason, with them.
 

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Yikes.....

I was thinking of a Dexter (cow) someday...
I have a Vet friend that has treated thousands of cattle over 30 years and she claims the wildest cattle she has seen was a small herd of Dexter. Go figure. As we know there are huge variations within every breed, don't expect uniformity in temperament.
 

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How awful for his family and friends. After joining HT I have learned a lot more about livestock than I started with. When I was a kid, my DGM would catch me in the cow lot and have a fit! :hair I just loved the cows, and their calves, and that big ol bull just loved scratches behind his ears!!! :nono: Don't you know that my guardian angel got lots of gray hair keeping this kid safe. I never got hurt by any of the animals, and now, I realize just how lucky I was.
 

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We always have a good handful of Dexter Bulls on our farm and we love them. They're our buddies. We follow some rules to help keep us safe.
1. Don't keep bulls from breeds known to have nasty behavior (Jerseys are the worst partly because breeders don't select for nice bulls)
2. Only keep bulls from breeds known for having nice bulls (Dexters are the best)
3. Only keep bulls from cattle-breeders who select for well-behaved bulls and who cull any with questionable behavior.
4. NEVER wean a young bull away from mom and other adults before 7 months. This is partly why dairy bulls can be mean (they're weaned away from adults too early).
5. Always keep young bulls with the mother and/or other adult cattle in a herd situation, to help teach the young bulls manners.
6. Make friends with young bulls, but don't engage in play with them. Never pet them on the head, but do pet them elsewhere.
7. Learn to read bulls. Watch their eyes and body language and even their voice. If they are in a bad mood, don't approach them unless you know what you are doing.
8. Don't march straight up to a bull head on, it may scare them and put them in a protective mood. Instead, approach them from the side or 3/4 to the rear within his clear side view (but not directly from the rear in his blind spot)
9. Talk to the bull calmly and use his name as you approach him.
10. Rub the bull gently on his back/shoulder/neck/rump and talk to him and use his name.

Everyone on our farm loves our bulls and we've never had a problem at all and can't imagine our farm without our gentle bulls (and AI is a pain).

PS. We also have very gentle Icelandic Sheep rams and gentle American Guinea Hog boars who are our good, non-aggressive friends. We only breed out of the most gentle animals.


http://cascademeadowsfarm.com/
 

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#5 is a very good observation. Bulls try to act like bulls pretty early, but the mature cows and herd bull put them in their place. With only human company, they don't get that "herd discipline".

#10 - There is no good reason to put your hands on your bull. Give them a shot, pour on wormer, sure. Simply pet them, never. I do allow my SIL to hand feed cubes to our bull from her side of the fence. One day she was helping DH, she was sitting in the truck out in the pasture and Bull recognized her, came up and stuck his big head in the window looking for his handout, she about peed her pants.
 
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