☆ May 5, 2010
Let’s demystify the bull, shall we?
I don’t pretend to be an authority on animal behaviour; I’m not an expert. However, I have studied the animals with whom I directly interact and I am an expert on them. These animals include four adult bulls (not including Sir Baby, who looks positively miniature next to these guys).
Bulls have been given the reputation of villain, monster, evil beast with a
terrible temper, and it’s unfair. It maintains a certain mythology.
It is a stereotype.
While I’m sure mean bulls exist, the bulls I know are shy, sweet, gentle, and dear.
They move slowly around me. They never challenge me. If one or two get out and find a haystack in which to bury their enormous heads, all I need to do is sidle between them and the hay and they will turn back to the pasture gate I have opened behind them. They don’t smash me; they don’t toss me out of their way like a ragdoll in order to get more hay.
Testosterone does not make them mean.
Testosterone does not make an animal “become” mean!
Of the intact male animals I have known ~ be it feline, equine, bovine, canine ~ none have been mean animals. None have been mean to people. They are just really difficult to control when a cycling female is in the vicinity.
This is precisely why I castrated Frisco ~ I want him to be a working ox. I do not want him distracted by the cows or racing off to breed one while pulling me in a cart behind him. This is also the reason I neutered Charlie ~ so that he would not have to deal with the internal conflict of wanting to stay with his pack (us) and wanting to fulfill an urge to breed.
Bulls will fight eachother for breeding rights (as males of so many species will do), but during the rest of the year, when they are not with the cows or once the cows have all been bred, bulls live together harmoniously.
It’s not that bulls aren’t dangerous.
It’s that there’s a difference between dangerous and mean.
It’s that any animal this size can be dangerous if you don’t pay attention or let yourself end up in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I consider Daisy as potentially dangerous as these bulls.
And I consider these bulls as inherently generous and good as Daisy.
So next time you see a bull, blow him a kiss, won’t you?