The sanctuary’s four rescued cattle have a pretty good life.
During the colder months, the bovines live in the winter paddock. Although it’s not as expansive as their full complex of pastures, this smaller area contains everything they need to stay happy and healthy. They have 24/7 access to fresh hay, heated water, and a couple of warm, straw-lined shelters. (Caregivers, on the other hand, have to muck these areas each day. That’s a story for another blog post.)
In the warmer seasons, they roam the grassy hillsides without much need for human interaction. You’ve probably seen a lot of this idyllic lifestyle on the blog. As with the chimps, we don’t always emphasize the barriers that contain these individuals, but we don’t want you to forget about them, either. The picturesque backdrops and dedicated caregivers cannot change that these four domestic cattle are living in captivity against their will. At times, it may even be necessary to confine them for their own safety. To offset the injustices of captivity, we are obligated to give them more freedom in whatever way we can, facilitating a lifestyle of relative comfort and choice.
For the cattle, the ability to roam around at will is paramount. Each winter, we typically keep the bovines in the paddock because the steep trails that lead to the other pastures turn into muddy slush. This slick terrain is not ideal for four Jersey cattle, so we close off the pastures to be safe. This year, we had to shut the gates in the middle of November, much earlier than we’d normally prefer.
Fortunately, the weather dried out and warmed up a bit last week; Thanksgiving brought us sunny and clear blue skies. While the chimps were napping off their holiday feast, we decided to open the swing gates to let the cattle back out onto their pastures.
When bovines get excited, they will trot, gallop and buck until they are content. The best time to see this behavior is when they get access to a new pasture. Even though it’s almost winter and it had only been a few weeks, they still seemed to appreciate having their familiar pastures once again.
P.S. Thanksgiving may be behind us, but there’s a lot to be excited about. In just a couple of days, we will be participating in Giving Tuesday and we have some exciting news to share!