Have a Cow: Cattle as Pets

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Ever wonder if a cow can be a pet? The answer is yes, they most definitely can. Although you won’t want “Fido the Cow” to share movies and popcorn on the couch with you after a long day, many breeds of cattle can be quite friendly, eager to please their owners and quite loyal. If you own a small farm or even just enough property for a cow to graze comfortably with a good shelter available, you might consider raising a cow from a calf. Caring for a cow isn’t as hard or complicated as many people tend to think it is and there are a few breeds to choose from that are known to be gentle and loving creatures. Although most of us enjoy a good, juicy hamburger every so often, (shhhh), cows aren’t only just for dinner any more.

Owning a mini-farm is becoming the new trend for people in many areas. Many people feel the need to get back in touch with the old ways and although most cattle are raised in herds for meat production, a good dairy cow can not only provide you with a fresh source of milk and cream, it can provide hours of enjoyment for the whole family. Although you can’t really teach a cow to sit, stay or fetch like you can a dog, they can be taught a variety of other things that can make owning them a little easier. Training your cow to walk with a harness allows you to be in control of the large animal and they can also be taught to pull small wagons and carts. Cattle are very smart animals in general and will do just about anything they possibly can to get a treat that is composed of a food they enjoy. There is also a way to train cows by using what is known as the clicker method. This is the same method that whales and dolphins are trained with and is shown to be great for training a pet cow too.

One of the gentlest cows to own is the Jersey breed. These are best known for their big, beautiful eyes, sweet personalities and good, rich milk. They are a more petite cow in size compared to many others. There are also miniature breeds available now that take up much less space, consume less food and are very easy to handle.

Thanks to modern technology you won’t have to have your pet cow bred to a bull to keep the milk supply available. Artificial insemination is the in thing to do now for those with only one or two heifers. The days of having to own a bull or having your cow visited by a bull are over.

One advantage of having a pet cow is that they will naturally graze in your yard or pasture, helping to keep it free of weeds and tall grass. Certain types will even eat small shrubs and bushes, so it’s best to protect any area of your yard that is nicely landscaped.

Sources: Personal and www.countrysidemag.com

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