There is something more to be said about nice cows:
Most of my previous experience with cattle has not been with pets or milk cows or even cows that are fed hay/grain by humans. I was previously accustomed to cows that would run from or over a person. The last thing they would be doing was hanging out, looking for a handout. Steep, nasty country breeds some wild types...and some fun/occasionally frustrating riding.
Our older two (Ruby & Carrara) live with 75-100 Angus/beef cows. The gentleman that owns and cares for these cows is a kind man - he gives grain to the pheasant, rabbits, and deer on his farm/ranch through the winter so that they don't have such a hard time - and I have found that he only keeps kind cattle. What a blessing, because our 1 1/2 year old son has no respect for cows. He thinks it's hilarious to run - squealing in laughter - right at them.
This is NOT on my list of "it's cool, go ahead" things for him to do with his time.
However, these beef mamas may startle, trot off, and in general stare at him like he's a tiny crazy man (which he is) but they have never acted aggressively towards him.
He's only gotten out-of-grasp to do this twice. Usually I trap the kids in the suburban with the windows rolled down most of the way, so they can watch and look but are not any worry for me.
I do this because while graining our 2 cows, anywhere between 5 and 30 girls show up looking for their feed tubs. They stare. I feel like a heel. They pace. I really really feel like a heel. They sneak in close, I try to touch them, they dance out of reach and pace some more. Maybe I am a heel, but I love to get one of them to let me touch her. And I have grain, that gives me an edge.
Today, my friend Christina and her boys came along with us, and it was so fun seeing them experience cows up close. I was so proud of Ruby, letting all four small children pet her while I am shoo-ing the other cows away. She did occasionally give me the "this-is-a-lot-of-tolerance-I-should-get-extra-grain" look though.
The things a cow has to do to get the good stuff around here.
I am so thankful that I spent time with Ruby so that now she is safe and kind, especially with the kids.
When she kicks me later this year (probably right after she's calved and her teats are tender), remind me that she was the most wonderful cow ever in February.
I'll forgive her.
Sore teats are the pits.