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Animal Psychology

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One has great opportunity to exercise his knowledge of animal psychology by differentiating between the nervous cow, the docile cow, the balker, and the chronic kicker. It is true, however, that cows do not respond to argument or reasoning as much as horses and pigs do. Usually they must be urged to do ones' bidding.

There are some things which must be kept in mind in dealing with cattle. In the first place, the bulls should never be trusted. They often appear to be gentle and calm, particularly when they have been receiving regular attention from handlers. They are unpredictable, however, and it is a mistake to rely on what may appear to be their good nature. Whenever one is working with them one should be sure to have them completely restrained.

Whenever cattle are to be restrained standing they should be place in a press or stocks. These animals are too large and strong to be easily restrained with ropes alone.

Cows should be restrained as little as possible. They are used to being handled but they are excitable animals and fear the unusual. Hence they will often be upset by complicated restraints and resist them, but will submit rather calmly to simple things. Also, a cow's tail is not nearly as strong as a horse's, and these animals should never be pulled or dragged by their tails. Their caudal vertebrae could easily be dislocated by this.

Cows that are kept in dark barns are apt to be nervous. The veterinarian who steps into such a barn, therefore, should be more on his guard than he would be if he were in a well lighted, well ventilated one.

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