Farm Safety: Cattle Edition

Last week there was a tragic event that happened too close to home.

A farmer was killed by his bull.

I wish I could say this can’t happen and this was a freak accident, but it’s not. Cattle are not pets. They do not understand the word “no” or “stay”. They can be very dangerous and unpredictable.

So I’m going to teach you a few things that I’ve been taught and trained to do to keep myself safe.

  • Never trust an animal. Some can be very tame, but that doesn’t mean they will never hurt you. You will never know when they will turn on you.
  • Also have an escape route.
    • Having a fence close by
    • A vehicle you can climb into quickly
    • Trees to climb
  • Going along with the up above statement, make sure you are aware of your surroundings. Whether it be slick, muddy, or rocky–make sure you know how to handle yourself.
  • The closer you stand behind an animal, the better. If you are trying to not get kicked, it’s better to stand closer to their behind than farther away. They can’t get good enough force to really hurt you if you’re right behind them. The farther away you are the more damage they can do.
  • Make sure all your gates are upright, in the correct position, and well secured.
  • Never walk out into an open pasture with no where to go. You always need to have something between you and them. You can’t out run them.
  • Proceed with caution. Always talk to them when you are around them so you don’t ‘spook’ them and scare them. A scared animal is a dangerous animal.
  • Keep your cell phone in pocket in case you need assistance or help
  • Don’t show fear. If you’re scared they can sense that and then they become scared. This makes working together very difficult and hard on both of you.
  • Have a cattle dog close by. (Blue heeler, Australian Shepard, Border Collie) If trained right, these dogs will protect you and keep you safe.

Try to use these tips on your farm and keep you and your family safe. This is why cattle are not considered pets. They can be deadly.

For those of you that know who Otis is, I would like to let you know that I apply all of these even when I’m around him.

Stay safe cattle farmers! Keep on raising that delicious beef!