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What a load of bullocks!

(34 Posts)
IrianofWay Fri 02-May-14 11:14:57

Dog and I walked back from the pub on Sunday after a family lunch. I knew bits of the route we were planning to take but I hadnt done it all. About two thirds of the way home I was flagging a bit (dodgy knee, wearing loose wellies) and even my dog was giving my dirty looks.

Somewhere along the line my map reading skills failed me and we ended up going the wrong way down a track and found that the footpath crossed a field. We could see the road stretching out calm and inviting on the other side of the field - not far to go now. But in the field were about 20 teenage bullocks, bored, chewing the cud with a sneer on their faces, breathing steam out of their nostrils in a mildly threatening grass-scented way. Dog and I looked at each other but we decided to chance it as the alternative was walking back to the other road and going the long way round and we were knackered already. So I girded my loins, hitched up my wellies and put my best determined face and climbed the stile.

Bullocks were very very interested in us. They followed us at a few inches distance, a silent steaming presence. I could smell their disdain.... we walked as calmly as possible showing not an iota of fear (well I did, dog was a bit fat coward and slinked!) but after a while the leader got a bit too close so I turned around and waved my OS map at them - they ran in a great sweaty steaming crowd and then wheeled around like a flock of kids on bikes and headed back towards us. I kept telling myself 'they are just curious' but curiousity armed with hard feet and a shed load of weight behind it is curiousity with a bit of an edge. Dog and I carried on walking until dogs nerve broke and he ran for the gate on the other side of the field. Bullocks thought this was fun and ran after him at which point I started yelling at them and followed at a run (as fast as is consistent with wellies that are a bit too big and an aching knee) - this amused them enough that they headed off for another exuberant circle and dog and I managed to bundle ourselves over the stile and escape with the returning delinquents hot on our heels.

I stood safely on the road and told them exactly what I thought of them! They chewed at me and jostled each other a bit. Bloody teenagers!

I love cows when they are on one side of a gate and I am on the other but they are just sooooo big and when all that weight is mobiliised by youthful joie de vivre it's a bit alarming. The thing is though if was to allow myself to be cowed by cows there would hardly be any footpaths left that dog and I could walk or run on during most of the spring and summer.

I measured it on google map and we had done just under 10 miles!!! So up yours scary cows.

Youdontneedacriminallawyer Fri 02-May-14 11:16:47

Why the bloody hell wasn't your dog on a lead in a field full of cows?????

IrianofWay Fri 02-May-14 11:18:35

How would it have helped?

MollyGuacaholly Fri 02-May-14 11:20:22

You do not want to know how many people get killed by cows.


MaoamMuncher Fri 02-May-14 11:20:58

Mildly amusing story but you were very stupid, Sorry.

I live in Cumbria and consider myself pretty hardy but no fucking WAY would I be stupid enough to walk through a field full of cows with an unleashed dog particularly at this time of year.

Be thankful of the fact it was a load of dozy bulls you came across and not a load of pissed off mum cows with calves to protect.

DowntonTrout Fri 02-May-14 11:22:23

People get crushed to death. You were lucky.

Your dog should always be on a lead in a field with livestock.

IrianofWay Fri 02-May-14 11:23:45

if it was a herd of cows with calves I wouldn't have.

Keeping my dog on a lead wouldn;t have helped at all. He stuck close to me all the way across until he lost his nerve. I have always been told if push comes to shove you leave the dog and run for it as the cows are more likely to go for the dog than the human - so lead won't help.

Sheep - dog is always on a lead with sheep. Cows, not.

IrianofWay Fri 02-May-14 11:25:04

How many people then? I'd love to know the total figure. I know it happens - two people in the fields near my house in the last 5 years, but it's a small risk.

whitesplodge Fri 02-May-14 11:29:44

I wouldn't have gone through that field alone or with my dog, but if I had to then my dog would most certainly be on the lead. However, I thought the advice in a situation such as the op's, when the cows start to chase or you feel threatened was to let go of the dog so the dog makes a run for it, to safety, then the cows follow the dog so you can get to safety. Is that the wrong advice?

Annianni Fri 02-May-14 11:29:57

I take it you didn't see the thread a few weeks ago, from a farmer's point of view...

DowntonTrout Fri 02-May-14 11:30:31

Funnily, the dog being on the lead isn't to help you, it's to protect the animals.

IrianofWay Fri 02-May-14 11:30:53

Don't bother - I found it. According to the National Office of Statistics, about 5 a year, half the number than get killed by horses and 2 more than get killed by dogs. Safer than horses, much safer than cars and way safer than other human beings.

Canus Fri 02-May-14 11:31:43

I did read somewhere that if the bullocks actually come after you, you should let go of the dog.

Walking through the field like that was just asking for trouble though, surely you knew that the bullocks were likely to run you down?

I get that you wanted to present it as an amusing anecdote, but your writing style is a bit tortuous, it just sounds jerky and dragged out.

Also, you need something a bit more entertaining as subject matter - 'I walked into a field of bullocks so I'd have a story to tell, but nothing happened that wasn't entirely predictable' is a bit lame.

It is very common for people to be seriously injured by bullocks - even small children are taught to avoid fields full of them.

"How many people then? I'd love to know the total figure. I know it happens - two people in the fields near my house in the last 5 years, but it's a small risk."


Abra1d Fri 02-May-14 11:32:51

FGS, if cattle are jostling you and you have a dog on a lead, let it off the lead. It is madness not to. We keep ours leashed through livestock, but not if we are getting 'attention'. The dog can make a dash through a hedge, a human often can't.

IrianofWay Fri 02-May-14 11:32:54

I did see the thread about the sheep and the dog. It was very sad. But that was sheep - who can be attacked and hurt by a dog. Have you seen the average size of a young cow (not calf) and the size of a lab type dog? If any damage was done it would have been to me or the dog not the cattle.

DowntonTrout Fri 02-May-14 11:33:21

Well, that's alright then. Unless you are one of the 5 a year.

Your OP reads like a creative writing project - very nicely written!

BomChickaMeowMeow Fri 02-May-14 11:37:53

Dogs should be on a lead near livestock, but at the same time farmers have been found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter when people have been killed by cattle when crossing a field via a footpath. Responsibility on both sides.

Youdontneedacriminallawyer Fri 02-May-14 11:38:37

You should ALWAYS keep dogs on a lead when farm animals are about. Did you know the temprament of those particular bullocks - did you know whether or not they might charge at you if they were frightened by your dog? Were you 100% sure your dog wouldn't charge at them and maul them?
And did you know if there were cows or sheep in the next field that were pregnant, which might have aborted because they were frightened by your dog?

Read the Country Code before you go for a walk in the fields next time.

Annianni Fri 02-May-14 11:39:58

I thought that if you were walking through someone's fields, either on a footpath or not, then you would always have a dog on a lead.

And to avoid fields with bullocks in..

ThingsThatShine Fri 02-May-14 11:40:12

Really stupid thing to do confused

Youdontneedacriminallawyer Fri 02-May-14 11:40:32

How many people then? I'd love to know the total figure. I know it happens - two people in the fields near my house in the last 5 years, but it's a small risk

It's not about the people - it's about the farmers' livlihood.
If the people are stupid enough to get themselves trampled, then that's just strengthening the gene pool. The farmer, on the other hand, has to bear the loss of income.

goldencity1 Fri 02-May-14 11:42:03

Actually the safest thing to do if you are chased by cows when you are with a dog is to let go of the lead - the dog can run faster than you and the cows will chase the dog.

This has happened to me too. One of our local farmers specialises in Jersey's. Very pretty, wonderful milk and the cows are quite docile and not too big. The bulls, otoh, are notoriously vicious, fast and can turn on a sixpence. At that time they had 3 bulls - one so scary he was never let out of his pen at the farm.
Their land is criss-crossed with footpaths, normally there are signs up if one of the bulls is in a field. That day we met a herd of young heifers, like the op it was a long walk round to avoid them, so we went through...only just at the point of no return I noticed that one of the "heifers" was a lot bigger....and had a ring through it's nose. "Don't run" I thought, it'll chase we walked very very quickly to the gate and just made it through as the bull got to the front of the group. All I can think is that he was too exhausted from all the heifers to bother chasing me!
Wouldn't walk through a field with cows and calves though.

Fathertedfan Fri 02-May-14 11:43:20

I'd never risk walking through a field of any cows, be they dairy, beef whatever, they are far too uredictable . Used to really piss me off how many people would walk their dogs off lead next to my horses fields and stand laughing whilst their dogs chased around after the horses trying to jump at their tails. We've stock fenced all the fields now as we knew that if a dog was kicked in the head and killed in self defence by a horse, the owner would blame the horse.

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