Pipi’s Pasture: A Cow is just a cow — Rein’s story

Diane Prather
Pipi's Pasture
Pipi's Pasture

Yesterday I had a one-sided “conversation” with Rein, which was a little ridiculous because Rein is a cow. I did all of the talking, and she probably doesn’t understand human words (not many of them anyway), and even if she did understand, she wouldn’t pay any attention to me. A cow is just a cow.

Rein is an older cow, somewhere over 15 years, left from my granddaughter Megan’s 4-H herd. As I remember, she is a mostly Simmental with a little Hereford and Red Angus thrown in.

Whatever her breeding, Rein is one big red, white-faced cow and a pushy one to boot. Rein’s mother is also here at Pipi’s Pasture. She’s Kitty, the “talker” cow, that I’ve written so much about.

Megan doesn’t remember how Rein got her name, but it was probably from a character in a Disney movie. In recent years, family members have nicknamed Rein “Moose” because of her size.

Kitty is also a big cow but not so much as her daughter. It’s a toss-up as to which cow, Rein or Kitty, is the herd boss. Kitty “talks” a lot but isn’t as pushy as Rein.

Because we don’t have many cows here at Pipi’s Pasture right now, I feed them over or through the corral fence. That way I don’t have to worry about loading hay or not letting cows get through the gate when I take the hay into the pasture.

My usual practice, when feeding at the corral, is to put feed out twice a day. I have to fill the stock tank twice anyway, and I find that the cows walk on hay less if I put it across the fence twice a day.

Cows are just cows. The stronger ones (both in physique and personality) push the others around to get to the best hay. These boss cows are greedy; they don’t want others getting the choicest leaves so they go from one pile of hay to another, pushing others away. That’s where Rein comes in. She’s right there when I put the first hay through the corral fence. She starts gobbling.

As I move along the fence, so does Rein. She pushes cows out of her way, sometimes an entire line of them, and she isn’t gentle about it either. Sometimes she whacks a cow in the side; sometimes she pushes a cow to the other side of the pen. She stands lengthwise in the hay. In short, she’s a pain.

Sometimes, however, she comes up against Kitty. Her mother utters one of her “moos” which probably translates to “Knock it off!” and Rein calms down.

Of course, I yell, “Quit it! Let the others eat! What’s the matter with you?”

Yesterday, however, as Rein was eating, while keeping her eyes on cows to each side of her, I made face contact and lectured her. It was ridiculous to be lecturing a cow, but I did it anyway.

“Don’t be so ornery. There’s plenty of hay. You’re a big fat cow. Quit beating the others around. You’re wasting the hay by standing sideways in it!”

I went on and on. I’m ashamed of myself. After all, a cow is just a cow.

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