Ways to keep cows safe at night

14:24 03/08/2022

There are a number of ways that you can help to keep your cows safe during the night and possibly reduce the amount of mooing you hear after dark.

Keep a decent sized herd at all times

Never leave a cow out in a pasture by itself or with only one or two other cows. A good herd of 5 to 10 or more is ideal for them to be able to protect each other from danger and they will feel safer, possible reducing their desire to moo and bellow.

Consider getting a livestock guard dog.

You can also invest in a well-trained livestock guard dog like a Great Pyrenees that can protect your herd from predators like coyotes or wild dogs.

These dogs by nature enjoy protecting a herd of animals and will sleep in the pasture with your cattle or other livestock, fending off any predator that dares to approach their herd.

Fewer predators often equals less mooing throughout the night.

Add a guard donkey to your herd

If you do not want a dog, consider a guard donkey! Yes! Donkeys are well-known for inadvertently protecting livestock by sensing predators and even fighting them off by kicking or biting them.

They might even chase a predator down if they are feeling frisky! While donkeys do not naturally want to protect livestock, they do have a strong desire to protect themselves.

Donkeys will watch for predators that did not get the memo to steer clear of their pasture.

Pay special attention to pregnant and sick cows

If you have pregnant cattle that are nearing the end of their pregnancy, you should consider bringing them closer to your barn or even putting them in a small enclosure near or in your barn.

Cows that are giving birth are easy prey for predators as they cannot defend themselves while they are in active labor and newborn calves cannot run away.

Cattle that appear sick or frail should not be left out in the open pasture at night either. Unwell cows, regardless of their age, make prime targets for predators looking for an easy meal.

How do cows protect themselves at night?

Cows protect themselves at night by sleeping or grazing in a large group with the rest of the herd.

A predator is unlikely to attack a large group of cows, instead opting for the ones that are alone and away from the rest of the herd.

Cows will also kick at, headbutt and run after any predators that get too close the herd, especially if they get near a calf or group of calves.

Can cows see well in the dark?

Yes, cows can see well in the dark! Like horses, cows can see better during the nighttime than we can.

Cows, along with other prey animals, have developed defense mechanisms like night vision in order to survive predatory attacks.

A cow’s eyes can control the amount of light that enters much better than we can, allowing them to see more easily at night than humans.

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