interesting discussion with janice and jenn tonight...
Carol · Apr. 23, 2012
we were discussing percy and the risks he presents to the smaller barn animals and to the humans around here.
and he does pose certain risks...he is a 2000 pound steer.
i was defending him and basically saying that as long as he isn't challenged and people are smarter then him when working around him..the risk is minimal. i have been working around percy for 5 years and i don't even think about it anymore...i know how to work around him by keeping him busy somewhere away from me. i am always highly aware of where percy is and what he is doing cuz if he gets too excited or too interested in what i am doing i will probably get hurt. and so i just automatically plan in my head how to do whatever it is that i need to. so if i want to go into the riding ring and set down the food bowls..i close percy out in the field and only open the gate when the bowls are strategically placed. if percy is already in the riding ring..i plan which gate i am going to enter in and how i will place the food bowls down before he reaches me. i only use certain feed bowls so i can hold them all stacked together with only one arm so my other hand and arm is always free. i put out his hay either before i let him in or while he is eating his grain so he doesn't knock over my wheelbarrow to get it before i have it in the feed racks. i think about what i am doing and how i will do it..and depending on where percy is..i have to change the plan every day. all of this is just automatic with me. but i do know that many people think of percy as a big and lovable and very safe cow-dog.
i truly do believe that percy would never intentionally hurt anyone...and i also think that he really doesn't realize the overwhelming power of his own natural strength.
but jenn quite wisely said...it doesn't really matter what his intentions are...it is the results that ultimately matter.
and janice is right..i am responsible for the safety of the people and animals around here...and that does include percy because the second i felt he was a real danger to anyone else, i would euthanize him immediately...he would hate being isolated alone in a cow proof pen.
so i guess i need to think on this more..before anything happens.
but in the meantime to keep everyone safe..please everyone be cognizent of the potential for harm that a 2000 pound animal poses. look to see where he is BEFORE you go to do something. look at what you are doing that might be of interest to him (cuz all of those cows are pretty damn snoopy and want to be right in the middle of things.) keep in mind that the cows are big and can and do jostle and head butt each other around without even noticing the collision..but we or the smaller animals would most definitely feel the painful force behind them.
and from now on...ABSOLUTELY NO HAND FEEDING OF TREATS TO ANY OF THE BARN ANIMALS FOR ANY REASON...no one goes into the fields or the paddocks with any kind of treat in their hands or pockets.
i have seen great depths of gentleness, kindness and compassion in each of our cows..but i have also seen them when they get too excited and get the zoomies, or when they start flinging around cuz something has upset or concerns them or are far too pushily interested in something we are doing or in something we have. they honestly just don't get that they outweigh us by well over one thousand pounds.
they are cows..lovely, lovely creatures, but gigantic, not all that bright oafs about personal space just the same.
so everyone please be careful to not only keep yourselves and the other animals safe..but also to keep our humoungus 2000 pound big oaf baby also safe...he really doesn't want to hurt anyone.