Startling Cattle when riding

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  • Startling Cattle when riding
  • z1ppy
    Member

    Dunno about “causing them to get up too quickly, thus injuring themselves” but I’ve managed to startle two lots of cattle whist on the bike, in both situation I wasn’t expecting the cows to react the way they did (having grown up in the country & had a small herd at one time). There big stupid animals, with a herd “flight” instinct, & shit happens. Blaming cyclists seems a very easy/handy excuse.

    Premier Icon sandwicheater
    Subscriber

    Never happened to me and we regularly ride passed cows.

    As a rule we’ll ride past at a walking pace.

    …and causing them to get up too quickly, thus injuring themselves.

    I’ve never done, or seen this, but I had a complaint from a farmer that their cattle injuries are caused by cyclists. Has this been an issue for riders on this forum?

    Premier Icon Trekster
    Subscriber

    sandwicheater – Member
    Never happened to me and we regularly ride passed cows.

    As a rule we’ll ride past at a walking pace.

    This 💡
    Born to farming family and worked on farms till late teens. Cows however are “different” nowadays and I don trust them!

    Junkyard
    Member

    we once nearly crashed into some Cows asleep on san marino – they did not so much have a flight or fight response as an utterly disinterested response and refused to move.
    Injuring yourself getting up to quickly seems BS and claiming it is always cyclists is BS

    IMHO it is BS

    neilwheel
    Member

    Not all individual cows and breeds of cows behave the same way.

    If you see them first, let them know you are coming, same with all animals, including people

    david jey
    Member

    If you see them first, let them know you are coming, same with all animals, including people

    This. With all livestock give them time to react to you being there before you six feet away (provided you know they are there obv).

    Cows are much less excitable than most livestock, but their temperament is less predictable and, whilst most are chilled out/disinterested, varies from flighty to overfriendly to downright aggressive. At least with sheep you know what you are getting – panicky idiots, each time, every time.

    treefeller
    Member

    Nicely put David jey,as an ex farmer that’s spot on ,especially the bit about sheep.

    z1ppy
    Member

    With all livestock give them time to react to you being there

    See now I’d agree, the one incident I had was going to the join of a bridal path and farm track with a high hedge in between, neither we nor the cows (going in for milking) saw each other until too late, but the other herd (of bullock) I came across, saw us from over 100m’s away across the field, theywere no where near our ‘path’. We slowed and headed (slowly) for the exit to the field, they raced towards it (no reason for this they had a whole 10 acre field behind them) & charged through/over the metal gate!
    Though in both cases I went and spoke to the farmer, explaining what had happened.

    MrNice
    Member

    Never happened to me and we regularly ride passed cows.

    IME if they’ve passed they’re unlikely to react much. it’s the live ones you need to look out for

    [/STW pedant mode]

    bikebouy
    Member

    sandwicheater – Member

    As a rule we’ll ride past at a walking pace.

    Please do this, fanx.

    Premier Icon Trekster
    Subscriber

    Chilled cows cows in the Lakes 🙂
    [url=https://flic.kr/p/o5pwL8]Garburn trip4[/url] by john_henry_mtb, on Flickr

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    At least they’re not as stupid as sheep.

    MrNice
    Member

    while we’re talking cows… what do we (especially treefeller who presumably knows a lot more than the townies amongst us) think of farmers having cows, calves and bulls in a field with a bridleway running through it? Cows can get a bit feisty if they’ve got young (they can probably see me thinking “mmm,steak…”), should I worry about the bull? Are they likely to get protective of their littluns or just stand back and let their wimmin act first?

    Premier Icon FOG
    Subscriber

    On a ride last week just opening a gate when 30-40 inquisitive bullocks appeared , jostling to get a good look at us. Yitten we may have been but we felt it sensible to climb the fence into the next field rather than get trampled by bovines who seemed to have an opinion on 26″ vs 29″

    I’ve been chased by Cows with calves while walking, though this is unusual IME so I guess they were in a “mood”. I’ve never been chased by a Bull with Cows and Calves. I think Bulls are generally only bad-tempered when there are no Cows present.

    Back on topic. After polite questioning, there didn’t seem to be any *actual* incidence of cyclists startling cows and causing them to be injured. No doubt the farmers in question have had some issues with livestock and the public, and don’t really cyclists (does anyone?). And so I reckon this was a conflation of those sentiments.

    Look out for cows.

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    Fairly certain I killed a sheep a couple of years ago. It started running down the singletrack ahead of me in classic sheep panic mode then suddenly keeled over and wasn’t moving. Stupid, stupid animals.

    Premier Icon garage-dweller
    Subscriber

    Is it not illegal to have a bull in a field crossed by a right of way? Or did I dream it (entirely possible)?

    PJ266
    Member

    When working on a dairy farm, the cows didn’t seem to injure themselves when I buzzed past them on a quad/motorbike, so Im not sure a mountain bike would cause any issues, no doubt just grumpy farmers looking for any excuse!

    It’s quite hard to get a sleepy cow to move at 3:45am sometimes!

    neilwheel
    Member

    Sorry but I don’t agree. The animals hear you approaching on a quad bike and are habituated to you and the machine being around them and behaving in a similar manner each time too.

    Getting too close on a near silent bike is a different matter, especially if there are a number of riders who react in different ways too.

    Otherwise yes, still sounds like grumpy framer BS to me and I’ve had to move a fair few grumpy sleepy cows too.

    I couldn’t agree more about the sheep!

    [video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztAORydqQ20[/video]

    Premier Icon beinbhan
    Subscriber

    If I’m going through a field with sheep or cattle I always speak to them, may sound stupid but their eyesight isn’t that good and if you speak theres a lot less chance of startling them 😯

    oldnick
    Member

    ^ what he said.

    A Brian Blessed “HELLO COWS” seems to guarantee a look and then a return to something more interesting.

    neilwheel
    Member

    “HELLO COWS”
    “Hello Horse”
    “Meh sheep”

    Premier Icon Nipper99
    Subscriber

    Piedi, you sir are a tit if that is how you behave around livestock. Not only do you appear to be riding too fast through livestock but you also think causing panic and distress is amusing.

    DanW
    Member

    The cows around here in the Cotswolds do seem to be getting more curious about bikes and much less predictable. I try to not startle them and keep talking while passing slowly (often walking with the bike) but they are looking at me like a Spaniel that needs chasing 😕 I didn’t used to have any issues having grown up around it all but cows do seem a heck of a lot more curious when I’m on or with a bike that they used to be which I don’t entirely trust!

    dpfr
    Member

    My ride from home takes me up a farm track down which, at the wrong time, sixty or seventy cows can be coming the other way after milking. Since it’s also at the top of a steep climb, I have learned that, if I keep riding and try to talk to them, I am bound to find a large dollop of cow muck in my mouth. So I stop and walk slowly.

    I did try just yelling “Strava, Strava” at them, but they didn’t understand.

    Premier Icon Trekster
    Subscriber

    Good deed for the day whilst out biking was to free a daft sheep that had stuck it`s head through a box wire fence at the bottom of Ironkeld/Arnside. 😆

    I have seen a group of Ramblers do exactly as the OP has said, walk through the middle of a field scattering the cows/bullocks only to then be chastised by the farmer/farmers wife. Given the speed/panic with which said cows/bullocks scattered and headed towards a ditch/fence it was possible that these animals could have injured themselves. When and if cornered they will try to jump over stuff with possible negative outcomes. Been there, done that 🙄

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    I met about 20 cows & calves on the road the other day – hemmed in by hedges and being “Pushed” my way by a car behind them. Have to admit, not all the poo on the road was necessarily theirs 😳

    Premier Icon richmars
    Subscriber

    I cycle to work past about 5-6 travelers horses. First thing in the morning some are still asleep, so I have to work out where the rope is, and if it’ll get me when the horse stands up, or how close I need to get to the rear legs. At the moment there are two baby horses that complicate things a bit.

    keng38
    Member

    Geese are evil bastards!

    Premier Icon tomaso
    Subscriber

    Ring ring on the bell is a winner. Its nice a gentle and let’s them know you are there. Also agree with talking to them.

    I am very wary of mums with calves, especially if you accidently get between them. Climbing out of Kentmere we were caught out by a wee calf pretending to be a black pile of dirt and before we knew it were upon it and mum looked worried.

    Every year quite a few walkers and other folk get stomped to death by spooked cows so it is in your interest to take care.

    gwaelod
    Member

    This thread needs a Gary Larson cartoon

    antigee
    Member

    here’s one though I would encourage people to buy one (or all) of the Far Side cartoon books!

    In rural Victoria (Oz) have ridden old railway line trails that go thru areas that have thousands of cows as dairy and beef are very big rural industries
    Since most rural Australians seem to passionately hate cyclists I can only assume farmers don’t have any issues here

Viewing 35 posts - 1 through 35 (of 35 total)

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