• If you are having problems logging in please use the Contact Us in the lower right hand corner of the forum page for assistance.

just wondering...bovine's night vision??

Help Support CattleToday:

greybeard

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
19,310
Reaction score
22
Location
Cleveland Tx
I never really thought much about it, but when they are up close to the house, I can hear my cows munching along the fence outside the yard. Can they actually 'see' what they are eating? Never hear them bumbling or stumbling into things in the dark either (like I do)..or walk right into a fence or tree on the darkest nights (like I've done)..
Just how good is a cow's night vision?
:?:
 

True Grit Farms

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 4, 2016
Messages
9,453
Reaction score
2
Location
Middle Georgia
It's apparent that a cow can see in the dark but I don't think they can distinguish objects. I don't go out amongst my cows at night walking they act really weird and spook me.
 

callmefence

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 7, 2016
Messages
6,830
Reaction score
33
Location
Fencemans place...central Texas
I may be wrong. But cattle do have a pretty strong Bright eye shine. I believe this indicates good night vision. I can walk though mine in the dark with no abnormal behavior.
 

True Grit Farms

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 4, 2016
Messages
9,453
Reaction score
2
Location
Middle Georgia
callmefence":gq9boobb said:
I may be wrong. But cattle do have a pretty strong Bright eye shine. I believe this indicates good night vision. I can walk though mine in the dark with no abnormal behavior.

I would of figured cattle with ear would of be even worse.
 

Margonme

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 15, 2016
Messages
1,768
Reaction score
0
Location
Princedom
GB, they have excellent senses, both smell and vision. Their eyes are large and gather a lot of light. As Fence says, if you shine a light in their eyes, it reveals how well their eyes gather light.

I frequently go out at night. When I am breeding, I may go out a couple times each night. I walk right up to them.
 

Caustic Burno

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 26, 2004
Messages
25,794
Reaction score
59
Location
Big Thicket East Texas
I walk through mine going in and out to deer stands in the dark. I have a baseball cap with two little LED lights.
Mine don't spook and are often in the woods even had them follow me to the stand.
Now then again I actually believe they know who owns them. I wouldn't want to be a stranger and get in the middle of those Brimmers
 

callmefence

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 7, 2016
Messages
6,830
Reaction score
33
Location
Fencemans place...central Texas
Margonme":3ppsijyu said:
GB, they have excellent senses, both smell and vision. Their eyes are large and gather a lot of light. As Fence says, if you shine a light in their eyes, it reveals how well their eyes gather light.

I frequently go out at night. When I am breeding, I may go out a couple times each night. I walk right up to them.


Good noses to. You have a bag of cubes in the back of the truck , you can just circle upwind and it's obvious they smell it.
 

greybeard

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
19,310
Reaction score
22
Location
Cleveland Tx
I know they can hear dang good. Mine can hear me take the chain off a gate from half way across a pasture.

TG, I'm with you on that spooked thing at night. Daytime, they generally just follow close behind me. At night, they get all around me. Never know what they're fixin to do...some of them start running and kicking like they do when you turn them into new grass.
 

Putangitangi

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 28, 2007
Messages
902
Reaction score
0
Location
Aotearoa - New Zealand
But then give them a few stripes of light and shade and they can't cope well at all!

I've had a couple of white-faced animals which seemed to have really odd reactions to torch light and I had to be very careful when checking during calving or heat-detection at night.
 

regolith

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
2,794
Reaction score
0
Location
New Zealand
greybeard":3b2nlu1u said:
torch=flashlight?

yes, torch = flashlight. You can direct a cow with one, they appear to see the lightbeam as a solid object so you're in effect holding a fence that an individual will turn away from.

Night vision is extremely good. I'm not sure how much smell and hearing plays into it, but cows never get lost in fog or dark. I've seen them distinguish a closed two wire gate from a two wire fence... presumably sense of smell indicates it's a place cows pass through, she then continued on confidently to walk through the open gate one paddock further on. They'll navigate stony tracks in the dark without hurting their feet.
I've observed them moving around in the dark for years and never seen much sign that the lack of light compromises their ability to get around.
 

Nesikep

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
15,993
Reaction score
67
Location
Lillooet, BC, Canada
They know who you are by *everything* about you.. your smell, the sound of your walk, etc!.. Mega doesn't like my mother much.. she can be bribed with treats, but other than that she turns her nose up at my mother and walks a few paces off.. My mother has tried EVERYTHING to fool her, nothing works.. she's worn my clothes and smoked my cigarettes.. nope, she won't be fooled.
Also, cows have incomplete color vision, I think they have improved black/white vision which is important for low-light though.

I routinely walk through the herd at night with no trouble whatsoever.. in the summer it usually never gets 100% dark here so I know where I'm going without a flashlight... It has happened more than once that I tripped over a cow though!
 

Margonme

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 15, 2016
Messages
1,768
Reaction score
0
Location
Princedom
Nesikep":24za21yo said:
They know who you are by *everything* about you.. your smell, the sound of your walk, etc!.. Mega doesn't like my mother much.. she can be bribed with treats, but other than that she turns her nose up at my mother and walks a few paces off.. My mother has tried EVERYTHING to fool her, nothing works.. she's worn my clothes and smoked my cigarettes.. nope, she won't be fooled.
Also, cows have incomplete color vision, I think they have improved black/white vision which is important for low-light though.

I routinely walk through the herd at night with no trouble whatsoever.. in the summer it usually never gets 100% dark here so I know where I'm going without a flashlight... It has happened more than once that I tripped over a cow though!

That is funny. I went into a group of mine when I was breeding to check one's vulva for discharge. They were laying where I had the hay ring. I had moved the ring so they could use the waste hay to lay on. I got my feet caught and fell over the cow I was checking. It was dangerous because my head was in range if another cow got nervous and kicked while she was laying.
 

SIMMGAL

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 7, 2016
Messages
219
Reaction score
0
Location
Home is where the HERD is, VA
callmefence":10dsorpq said:
Margonme":10dsorpq said:
GB, they have excellent senses, both smell and vision. Their eyes are large and gather a lot of light. As Fence says, if you shine a light in their eyes, it reveals how well their eyes gather light.

I frequently go out at night. When I am breeding, I may go out a couple times each night. I walk right up to them.


Good noses to. You have a bag of cubes in the back of the truck , you can just circle upwind and it's obvious they smell it.

Mine give me no problems at night. Can walk through them during breeding and calving seasons and they stay calm in my presence. They can spot me before I can spot them without a light and usually start begging for grain. I have a feeling that if they couldn't see in the dark, they wouldn't have made it very far over the years as animals of prey!
 

M-5

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2015
Messages
7,338
Reaction score
0
Location
AT the FLORIDA STATE line checking papers
feeding after dark with a head lamp you will get ran over cause like someone else said the light seems to make them want to avoid where it shinning and I have gotten knocked around quite a bit .
 

True Grit Farms

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 4, 2016
Messages
9,453
Reaction score
2
Location
Middle Georgia
M-5":qo4f6lps said:
feeding after dark with a head lamp you will get ran over cause like someone else said the light seems to make them want to avoid where it shinning and I have gotten knocked around quite a bit .

I'm not getting out of the RTV at night around some of your cattle. You dang sure don't have to worry about someone stealing them.
 

Margonme

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 15, 2016
Messages
1,768
Reaction score
0
Location
Princedom
Nesikep":1i96q0sm said:
They know who you are by *everything* about you.. your smell, the sound of your walk, etc!.. Mega doesn't like my mother much.. she can be bribed with treats, but other than that she turns her nose up at my mother and walks a few paces off.. My mother has tried EVERYTHING to fool her, nothing works.. she's worn my clothes and smoked my cigarettes.. nope, she won't be fooled.
Also, cows have incomplete color vision, I think they have improved black/white vision which is important for low-light though.

I routinely walk through the herd at night with no trouble whatsoever.. in the summer it usually never gets 100% dark here so I know where I'm going without a flashlight... It has happened more than once that I tripped over a cow though!

Nesikep,

If you expect your mom to fool Mega, you must make sure that she wears a dirty pair of your underwear. Smoking your brand of cigarettes and just wearing your jacket or coat will not fool Maga. Cows sense of smell is keen. Those odors from your dirty underwear are essential. Please give it another try with your underwear and let us know how it worked.
 

Nesikep

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
15,993
Reaction score
67
Location
Lillooet, BC, Canada
If Mega was a dog, that would work.. y'all know that's the FIRST thing a dog checks.. "Whos underwear are they wearing?"... Cows on the other hand seem to think it's the boots that are most interesting.
 
Top