Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Help - Runaway Cows!!  (Read 9580 times)


  • Joined Jan 2009
Help - Runaway Cows!!
« on: October 21, 2009, 07:23:28 pm »
We have two murray greys, a blonde D'Aquitaine cross and two dexters with their calves.  They have been happily munching away on the common (we have commoners' grazing rights) for some time now but have suddenly been spooked by something and have broken out.  For the last 5 days, we have been trying to get them back on the common.  Last night we succeeded in getting all but one of the Dexters back but today they have broken out again.  There is plenty of food on the common which covers a huge area. They dont seem to care if they go through hedges, fences or jump a gate.  These normally friendly beasts (three of which will feed from your hand and the others will feed from a bucket) have gone completely wild.  We are at our wits end.  Any suggestions would be gratefully received before they end up in a sticky mess on the road, or worse, someone gets hurt.


  • Joined Jan 2009
Re: Help - Runaway Cows!!
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2009, 08:06:47 pm »
Have just arranged for a vet to go out and assess the situation at first light.  Keep your fingers crossed that he comes up with something.


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Devon - EX39 5RF
    • Ford Mill Farm
Re: Help - Runaway Cows!!
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2009, 08:25:06 pm »
Sorry can't help with any suggestions.  Calling the vet sounds a good idea.

Let us know how you get on. 
Pedigree GOS Pigs and Butchery for Smallholders.


  • Joined Feb 2009
  • Derbyshire
Re: Help - Runaway Cows!!
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2009, 09:09:47 pm »
I don't know anything about cows, but it sounds to me like they've been very badly spooked.  I hope its not people being horrible to them.  Good luck for tommorrow.


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: Help - Runaway Cows!!
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2009, 09:28:01 pm »
Kids with stones or catapults - or worse still air guns!  Not sure the Vet is the one to go and look - how about the local bobby!
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age


  • Joined Feb 2009
  • Derbyshire
Re: Help - Runaway Cows!!
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2009, 09:32:01 pm »
That's just what I was thinking!


  • Joined Jan 2009
Re: Help - Runaway Cows!!
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2009, 09:39:14 pm »
The police have been informed and were very helpful to start with, offering to close roads etc so we could get them back on the common, but that was as far as it went.  I don't think it would be people scaring them, other than maybe with fireworks.  The common is quite remote.   

Friendly vet has suggested that it might be a mineral deficiency that has made them wild.  If so, he can do something about it (when we catch them).  If not, then we might have to have them slaughtered on site, which will be really sad as we were enjoying looking after them (and eating them).  Will let you know.  Off to drown sorrows now as we cannot do anything until daylight.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2009, 09:49:36 pm by MrsJ »


  • Joined May 2009
  • Peak District
Re: Help - Runaway Cows!!
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2009, 11:41:46 pm »
Sorry about your cow problem.

Some years ago, some of our young cows got frightened by fireworks we  think.  They took off, and ended up on next doors 50 acres of moorland.  We tried numerous times to get the 8 cows back. Normally they would follow a bucket, but not this time.  After a week, they were getting hungry, as the fields were bare, and the bucket tempted them on to the lane and down into our fields.  Its a horrible feeling when they get out, and you seem unable to get them in again. 

To be honest, I think the lure of feed is the best option.  We found that constantly chasing the cows made them more wild.  Leaving them for a couple of days to calm down helped a lot.  Also found the less helpers the better, although we did have a couple of people on the track to block their exit when they finally came out of next doors land.

Good luck!!


  • Joined Jan 2009
Re: Help - Runaway Cows!!
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2009, 06:56:49 am »
thanks Roxy - it helps to know that we're not the only ones!  Unfortunatley, as most of the land round here is arable, there are few gates on the fields and loads of gaps in the hedges.  We would leave them to calm down if we could keep track of them!  We'll have to see what the vet says this morning.


  • Guest
Re: Help - Runaway Cows!!
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2009, 07:20:35 am »
 :) one of the guys we buy our weaners from had 2 of his dexters escape the police were called as well as a vet but as a week had lapsed they had to destroy them on the spot, he said this was down to the movement laws ( not sure how it worked) he could not take them back to his farm.
so i do hope you are more lucky and they are caught and brought back to graze. :)


  • Joined Feb 2009
  • Derbyshire
Re: Help - Runaway Cows!!
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2009, 07:31:43 pm »
How have you got on today MrsJ?


  • Joined Jan 2009
Re: Help - Runaway Cows!!
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2009, 09:26:16 pm »
bit of a hectic day.  I had to go to a funeral some miles away so have not been involved but it appears that we have all but the two Dexters contained and have put food down to try to lead them back onto the common.  The vet doesnt think now that it is a mineral defficiency and has suggested that we just take it really slowly, trying to tempt them back to where they should be. They seem a lot more calm today so we are just going to be very quiet around them for the next few days.  No-one has mentioned a movement licence, so I think that's a problem for tomorrow.  The only good thing to come out of it all is that Natural England has come up trumps with some funding for fencing (even though it is the responsibility of the neighbouring farmers. 

We have six lambs coming back from the abatoire tomorrow, to be butchered.  6 ewes that need to be drenched, ready to go off to be tupped in a couple of weeks, so plenty of other things to occupy our thoughts over the weekend, but I will be a whole lot happier when we find the two Dexters and have them all back safe and sound.


  • Joined Feb 2009
  • Derbyshire
Re: Help - Runaway Cows!!
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2009, 09:28:35 pm »
Great to hear you've had some success and good luck with catching those pesky Dexters!


  • Joined Apr 2009
Re: Help - Runaway Cows!!
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2009, 10:04:34 pm »
They'll come right, spend plenty of time with them, be quiet, feed them regularly not that they need it but they are inquisitive and love a free meal!!, we have a lot of cattle and they are all used to one person, namely me!! If I go in the field with anyone else they react differently. I bought a neighbours herd a few years ago, and they where wild believe me, all he had every done is chase the round with his quad and tractor, they where that bad one vet refused to Tb test them, everyone thought I was mad, when I got them home, I turned them out, put a feeder in the middle of the field, fed them every day, well I never saw them for the first three days but the feed was always gone in the morning, I never use a tractor or a quad to look at any on my stock, yes I use it to get to the field then leave it there an walk the rest of the way in. Now they are like babies they follow me anywhere I cant shake em off, they are all on there 3rd calving and have mixed in perfectly well with all the others. If you winter them in they will calm down a lot, as they cant escape and will see you and get used to you everyday. Don't worry about movement laws for now, and nobody can shoot them unless they go totally ape and kill someone and by the sound of it they are far from doing that.. Just take your time and good luck...   


  • Joined Aug 2009
  • North East Fife
Re: Help - Runaway Cows!!
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2009, 10:08:47 pm »
I hope you get all your cows back safely,
 reading this reminds me of when we had to help round up abut 60 Frisian bullocks after they smashed through about 6 gates stampeding from a stray dog,  it took the farmer a whole month to get them all back, i wouldnt worry about them being killed, it only hapens in EXTREME cases.
atleast you have the advantage that yours are tame and are more than likley to end up on someones doorstep,
any way i was no help, but good luck anyway.


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