Happy cows are happy
February 15, 2014 1:36 PM   Subscribe

For those of you trapped in frigid climes, here is a vision of spring to look forward to: Happy Cows

Cows spend most of their lives bearing calves and giving milk. When their milk capacity ceases the cows are of no use. They are too expensive and are disposed of. 25 cows from Overath near Cologne were sharing the same fate.

"Last year we heard that the cows were to be taken to the slaughterhouse because the farmer couldn't carry on with the milk production for financial reasons. We see the cows every day and couldn't bear the thought of them being killed. This is why we started this... this foundation."

"I simply love cows, they are such gentle animals. I became sad to hear from my father that he wanted to give up holding the cows. Now I'm happy that the cows can stay and grow old here."

( Serious Spring Magic starts at 0:50 )
posted by jammy (18 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

If you think this might sound similar, the first related post (OH GOD GRASS YES; direct YT link) is in the same theme, but a different clip of different cows.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:44 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]

Cows have the most adorable knees in the animal kingdom.
posted by winna at 1:50 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]

Sorry, but the California Dairy Board owns Happy Cows.

So, moo.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:05 PM on February 15

Ne England cows object to this idea.
posted by Mblue at 2:09 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]

I love this so much!

I had the delight of seeing this sort of thing up close as a teenager living next to a German dairy farm. It was absolutely hilarious to watch the cows run about like overgrown puppies!
posted by MissySedai at 3:14 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]

Here are some happy free ranging grass fed Jersey cows grazing the other day at the local raw milk dairy I frequent. Support your local dairy if possible!
posted by planetesimal at 4:36 PM on February 15

I grew up on a small farm where, amongst other creatures, we had a small herd of beef cattle that you might call the "all-weather"* version - Scottish Highland cattle. They have a large barn they can stay in if they choose, but unless it's a thunderstorm, they prefer to stay outside, even in the snow. They are pretty mellow creatures, and for the most part they only seem to act in a lively manner for two reasons: the sound of the call to dinner or the occasional antics of these guys with whom they share the grazing fields.

They have been known to frolic like giant puppies at times, but never when they know they are being observed. The moment they realize someone is around, they will instantly stop and "act normal" in such an abrupt, ridiculous manner that it reminds you of a little kid that's just been caught in the midst of a cookie heist. I'd just chalk it up to a natural survival tactic, but it's the look they give you right after they stop - sort of a "Frolicking? Us? Nonsense. You must have been mistaken. We're far to dignified to behave in such a manner." kind of look that just makes me giggle every time.

* This is their mid-season coat. The summer coat is much thinner, and the winter coat gets so thick it can look rather Chewbacca-like.
posted by chambers at 4:51 PM on February 15 [6 favorites]

Hopping cows! And child-cows!
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:11 PM on February 15

Cows cows cows?
posted by blue_beetle at 5:28 PM on February 15

The home I grew up in had a cow pasture abutting the property, and the cows that grazed there were kind of entertaining.

The cows LOVED the smell of fireworks when we set them off for the fourth of July. They'd line up along the fence-line closest to us and moo and watch along with us. They loved piles of fresh cut grass. When they'd hear the lawn mower, they'd line up along the fence line waiting for us to dump the grass catcher bags over the fence for them. We had an apple tree and they would stretch their necks and their tongues to reach the apples, and sometime use each other as boosters to stand on their hind legs leaning on another cow to reach the apples. They also loved treats from the garden. If we had a zucchini get too big? They'd eat it. When we'd work in the garden, there they were lined up at the fence hoping for a split tomato or bad cucumber or something.
posted by schnee at 5:47 PM on February 15 [3 favorites]

They weren't cows inside. They were waiting to be, but they forgot. Now they see sky, and they remember what they are.
I seriously cannot wait to turn my cows out this Spring, though having felt the ground shake as thirteen of them circled me at top speed one morning makes me a little nervous about it as well. Cattle are big.
posted by stet at 7:13 PM on February 15 [5 favorites]

Holsteins can also get very cute winter coats.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 8:11 PM on February 15

I seriously cannot wait to turn my cows out this Spring

Oooh!! Can I come over?
posted by MissySedai at 8:56 PM on February 15

Cows cows cows?

posted by homunculus at 11:53 PM on February 15

This ended up in my Facebook news feed, and one of my distant troglodyte relatives (as we all have on Facebook) is carping that they are not really older dairy cows but "yearling heifers" and so the story is BS. I am not sure how he can tell this - can anyone comment on whether their appearance is consistent with that of older, retired dairy cows?
posted by Miko at 6:37 AM on February 16

Never mind, I googled up my own answer from the foundation itself. 11 older cows, 14 heifers.

There's definitely something weird about watching the video go viral. It's delightful to watch cows frolic. Great that they were saved from slaughter. Doesn't change the fact that the general fate of dairy cows is to become hamburger once they no longer give milk. I mean, I generally understand that, but it seems like a lot of people are passing the video around as "so cute!!!" while compartmentalizing that fact. Oh well, that's the human way, I guess.
posted by Miko at 6:46 AM on February 16

can anyone comment on whether their appearance is consistent with that of older, retired dairy cows?

Look at the udder of the black w/ white face at 1:31. This is approximately what you should expect the udder of a producing dairy cow to look like.

The ones with no udder to speak of have never been bred. The hairs on the end of their tail seem kind of longish for them to be yearlings, but it's hard to tell from the video.

The ones with a mid-size udder are either bred for purposes other than full-scale milk production, or haven't been producing in some time.
posted by GrumpyDan at 6:58 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]

They weren't cows inside. They were waiting to be, but they forgot. Now they see sky, and they remember what they are.
posted by chainsofreedom at 7:00 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]

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