What do two small herds of cows do when they meet?
May 11, 2021 3:10 AM   Subscribe

When do small herds of cows meet, how do they behave relative to each other?

The scenario would be two herds - each herd maybe 50 cows, something like that - that have lived separately as two herds for a while.

Then they are brought together to continue as one herd.

Do they keep to their own herd or do they mix pretty much straight away?

If they keep to their own, how long does it take before they mingle freely, if ever?
posted by Quillcards to Pets & Animals (4 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
I recall seeing similar videos, but am finding only this small-scale clip now. In my farming experience this is representative. It's common to split a herd to different pastures to prevent over-grazing, then re-uniting them for winter feeding. Such reunions of cows and steers involve much prancing and a lot of sniffing, "where you been?". Cows (as in female cattle) are cordial to newcomers yet retain their 2-4 best friends. Bulls, however, are territorial and can be unpleasant or violent with strange bulls.
posted by gregoreo at 4:04 AM on May 11, 2021 [9 favorites]


Cattle drives combine many herds. I've never seen too many issues, as cows are IMO relatively solitary even when they herd. I'll say bringing in a few new cows to a herd is not something I've ever seen anyone manage -in terms of like phased introductions or being careful about fighting.

Like gregoreo says, bulls are different, and generally the number is limited even in relatively large herds.
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:13 AM on May 11, 2021 [1 favorite]


Best answer: Oooh good question. Depends on the type of cow and whether they are used to it. Docile cows will just do a bit of posturing and inquisitive sniffing. But put together a group of Herens and it’s quite a show!

However, just a as note that even relatively docile cows should be left alone when there’s a possibility of them getting agitated. This could be meeting another herd, or bringing in a dog they don’t know, or even introducing rambunctious children. They will chase, and they will head butt.
posted by ohio at 10:41 AM on May 11, 2021


Best answer: Where I live it’s an actual (and extremely low adrenaline) sport! Combat des Reines involves mainly pawing and pushing for the cows, clandestine betting and kir for the humans.
posted by tardigrade at 1:25 PM on May 11, 2021 [1 favorite]


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