Into the mind of a cow…

A heiffer takes a swim in a pond near Willard, Mo. The herd has approximately 10 head of cattle.

A heiffer takes a swim in a pond near Willard, Mo. The herd has approximately 10 head of cattle.

By Austin Applegate

Cattle, a mysterious animal, provides beef and dairy to us. But what is the personality of cattle, also known as cows and bulls?

Casey Pyle, an executive vice president at Bancorp South Bank, has a lot to say about cow personalities because he has raised them ever since he was a boy.

“My family has always raised cattle,” Pyle says. “I got my first heifer from my grandfather when I was 12 years of age. My grandpa always loaned a bull to us so that we could breed our heifer. I eventually had three females that I breed every year until I moved away for college and sold them to my uncle who has a large herd near Jasper, MO.”

So, what are bulls like? Pyle says if you have a bull, they can be a bit aggressive with each other, but this can always be prevented by not putting two bulls in the same corral.

Pyle says bulls can also be aggressive towards humans but that they do not bite. They can kick, gore, stomp, trample and even crush you. This too can be prevented as you gain experience in reading their bahvior. Pyle says that’s why you don’t see bulls in a cluster unless you’re at a rodeo, which is purposefully done so the bulls are harder to ride. Even then, there are trained professionals to stop the aggressiveness if it gets to out of hand at that point.

Girl cows act somewhat differently from the males.

“The [female] cattle are pretty mild mannered,” Pyle says. “They just graze patiently. If they see us, they will look for buckets, and if we have buckets they run to us for feeding.”

Pyle has names for some of his cattle, like Erica, Lexi, Explosion, and Smoke. He also has three feeder steers. All of his cattle are Angus except the three steers.

As soon as Pyle got his 20 acres that he lives on, he wanted cattle right away.

“I wanted cattle to graze the pastures and to let my kids have the experience of having farm animals,” Pyle said. “My girls have witnessed breeding, childbirth, veterinary work, and they learn responsibilities by doing chores.”

Knowing what we know now we have knowledge on what cattle does and acts like. Cattle is super important in our lives because of the beef and dairy products we get from them.


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