Thursday, July 30, 2009

Killer cattle

The latest MMWR is out. No surprise -- farming's still dangerous work, especially for geezers and kids.

Fatalities caused by cattle:

During 2003--2007, deaths occurring in the production of crops and animals in the United States totaled 2,334; of these, 108 (5%) involved cattle as either the primary or secondary cause.
Also no surprise -- dairy bulls were the most dangerous, although in one case a cow killed a woman who entered a pasture to remove the body of a dead newborn calf.

None of that is going to keep me from fantasizing about keeping Ayrshire cattle up on the tundra once I'm retired. I must have been a dairy maid in a previous incarnation, because when I sleep I dream of cows.


  1. I trained horses and worked with livestock in another "incarnation" myself (liked horses better than cows), and every now and again I think back on those High and Far Off Times. I'm always taken with how much of dealing with them had to do with "muck". Don't miss that part one bit.

    I have, in my younger days, milked cows, goats, sheep, and one horse.

    Have you ever gotten a good like at irony?

    I was stationed in Germany in the late 1970s and we watched German television. I speak German as did my youngest son, and my wife and oldest picked up more than in the neighborhood with the TV.

    One night we'd been watching someting on what's roughly the equivalent of PBS here, and the program was on farm safety. It was a sort of Driver's Ed gory show about what happens if you're not careful, clearing machinery that's still running, getting trampled by livestock, tractors, turning over, all sorts of things.

    My wife finally had enough, instructed me to turn it off, she turned on the radio (tuned to AFN Europe) just in time for us to hear John Denver bray, "Thank God I'm a country boy"!

    We laughed for half an hour.

  2. I've been cow-kicked a couple times and also had the experience more than once of getting slapped in the face with a urine soaked tail while handmilking in an ice cold barn, so I'm not sure why the fantasy persists. . . but I still want Ayrshires.


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