Animal Olympics

| 9/8/2015 12:28:00 PM

Tags: Farm Animals, Maine Farms, Sheep, Cattle, Horses, Coyotes, Hayfields, Bulls, Maine Stories, Mitch Littlefield,

Mitch LittlefieldOne of the more subtle things I liked to watch while growing up on the three farms my family operated was the “community” that existed between the various breeds of animals, and the even clearer relationship between animals of a common breed. It was interesting to see how the sheep would interact with the cows, or how the horses and ducks got along. To the casual observer, the larger animals went where they wanted and the smaller breeds would move out of their way, otherwise they would tend to ignore each other.

Not always the case. 

The pecking order on the farm was not necessarily breed specific, although sometimes it was. 

For example, horses were the kings of the pasture. They were the largest, strongest, fastest, and one of the more intelligent of the animals. The cows intermingled easily enough with the horses as they offered no aggression towards the horses, or anything or anyone else either. In fact, the horses would typically look after the cows and would alert them to the fact something was askew, such as someone walking through the pasture on his way to the creek with a fishing pole over his shoulder. The horses would watch intently, while the cows seemed not to notice. They would be contentedly chewing away at the green grass. However, if the horses felt encroached upon or nervous and started moving away from the stranger in the pasture, the cows would dutifully follow them to another section. 

livestock | Fotolia/acceleratorharris

Photo: Fotolia/acceleratorharris

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