Jersey Milk cow snuggling?

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JosieBlue

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Hello everyone! 3 days ago we bought a jersey heifer that freshened 6 weeks ago . I have been milking her twice daily and brushing her, sweet talking her and all that , as the folks I got her from said she was shy. Anyway, today she started rubbing her head on me and elongating her neck across my body, almost like a hug . I gave her pets and she continued nosing around and rubbing her head on me. She even gave a few little licks! Now the dog person in me wants to believe that this cow is snuggling with me and showing me that she's happy I'm keeping her stall clean and brushing her and all that! Is it so? Or is this head rubbing and such something else? This girl is my first adult cow so maybe I'm just being ignorant. What do yall think? Thanks!
 

Nesikep

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Could be she's in heat.. and the dangerous thing about that is she may try to mount you since you're the only thing there is around... 6 weeks is about the right timeframe. If she continues doing it, she probably is just being friendly
 

branguscowgirl

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Cows do show affection. Ours will lick your hands and arms. They do a lot of licking on each other out in the pasture. On people they are often liking the salty taste of your skin or looking for a treat if you hand feed them. They say a cow has about the same intelligence as a dog.

Now with that said, Craig is right about potential dangers. Cows can injure you unintentionally just by slinging their enormous head at a fly. When they come in heat they may try to mount you. Step on you. Butt you away from the feed. Kick you. Run you down and kill you after they calve. ect. ect. ect. The list goes on and on, along with people that have "trusted" their pet and ended up injured or dead.

You have to establish boundaries and have them respect you and your space. Do not let her rub on you! Provide something in her pen to rub on.
I show cattle, and most I would consider to be "pets". They back off during feeding time, and know to maintain a respectable space. I can move them away with a wave of my hand. I do not pet their faces and encourage them to put their head on me or lean on me in any way. If they even remotely get "pushy" they are whacked in the nose. Hard!
The last thing that you want her to do is treat you like another cow! Spend some time with show people that handle gentle cattle a lot. If they are experienced, they can show you how to maintain respect and still enjoy your cow.
 

djinwa

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I'm not sure if its helpful to tell people that all bovine animals are going to kill them. There is quite a difference between a sweet gentle jersey cow and a wild beef cow or a jersey bull. There are many dogs that bite, but we don't tell people to never pet a dog. A lot of horses kill people, too, but for some reason people still get on them.

I've had a lot of pet cows over the years, and the worst thing that has happened is accidentally stepping on my toes. I've broken many of the rules with them, but when they're so gentle you can sit on them, I don't worry too much.

Having said this, newbies probably should spend time slowly getting to know their cow before getting too close. Of course, if they're milking, don't know how they could get any closer.

As for affection, yes, cows are like people. If they want what you offer (food or scratches), they will show 'affection', rub on you til you give it to them. As long as I bring home a paycheck, my wife shows affection, so I have to tap her on the nose to make sure she respects me. :lol:
 

suzorse

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my cows are all pet cows and I can walk up to them any where and touch them anywhere , but they know they are not allowed to touch me with their heads , and yes I will rub their face sometimes
but not often , they will come up and drop their heads for a good neck scratch, if she rubs her head on you yell no and slap her (you will not hurt her by slapping her) the noise will startle her, I can just tell my heifer no when she wants to step out of line and she looks at me like you are no fun , but dose not push the issue
you will need to teach her about your space and she is not to enter it with out your permission ,
and always watch her body language , walks up to you and puts her head in the air ,watch for her to try to jump you if she is not bred, have fun and enjoy your new cow
Suzanne
 

Nesikep

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I've taught most of my cows that "Be nice" means you're cruising for a bruising if you keep up whatever you're doing.. that includes being pushy with other cows, since in my herd that's the biggest risk for me is a jealous cow pushing another cow on top of me
Cows aren't as dumb as they're made out to be.. I had a cow that would always step on my feet, one day she stepped on my foot as I was putting a bale into the feed bunk, and with my foot firmly planted a punched her with all I had in the side of the snout... I had her for 10 years after that and she NEVER stepped on my foot again.. so you can't tell me she didn't know what she was doing before!
 

TCRanch

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Know your cattle. They do all have distinct personalities & some are more affectionate than others. I have also broken the "rules" -& have been stepped on, hunched by a heifer & sporting 2 black eyes, the result of the aforementioned fly-swatting. That said, I am also able to doctor many of my cows in the pasture, help their calf nurse if needed & can generally get them to simply follow me to the barn or corral if we need to get them in the chute. When they calve they know to maintain a respectable distance when we tag/band. And I have learned (the hard way) to never let my guard down.
 
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JosieBlue

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Thanks everyone! I never thought about her being in heat, but I will sure watch out for that! I think she may be super affectionate and I need to set some boundarys with her so I don't get head wacked by her!
 

Nesikep

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Does she have horns? It's no fun getting whacked by a cow head, but if they have horns it is far worse.

I have 1 cow who LOVES licking my arm.. she even takes my whole arm in her mouth and kinda chews on it, she is pretty well behaved though
 

TCRanch

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Nesikep":r8om6jtt said:
Does she have horns? It's no fun getting whacked by a cow head, but if they have horns it is far worse.

I have 1 cow who LOVES licking my arm.. she even takes my whole arm in her mouth and kinda chews on it, she is pretty well behaved though

Do you ever notice they get super affectionate about a week before they calve? I have a couple girls that will lick my jeans - as in soggy - if I start rubbing their backs when they're almost due. Kind of sweet in a nasty (slimy) sort of way :)
 

Nesikep

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This particular cow licks you that way all the time, it does get worse at calving time though.. thankfully she also pays attention to the calf
 
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JosieBlue

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She does not have horns. Thank goodness! I have been taking what you all said seriously and working on toning down the head snuggling She is smart and she seems to get it when I say "no" and kinda shhhh her. Thanks so much everyone! I am so thrilled that she likes me, as her former owner said she was shy with them but that has not been my experience at all. I think that she did not get sweet feed at her former home and I feed her when I milk so maybe that's it!
 

TCRanch

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Kell-inKY":3bn6odm1 said:
You mean snuggling like this nut :lol:
[youtube]https://youtu.be/-pBMAvAUFBI[/youtube]

I've seen that one before and it's hysterical - in a creepy sort of way. That's just a little too much love :lol:
 
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JosieBlue

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Ummmm, no. Not like that. Lol! That's sweet but we are not quite there yet! My girl really does get upset when I leave her though, she wants to follow me out he gate and does this horrible sounding moooo-whine till I put the others out with her or come back!
 

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