Praying Horse Designs by Megan Ralph | The Jersey Bull

The Jersey Bull

May 25, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Three years ago, my husband started a Nestbox program for the local Audubon Society chapter for whom he is Conservation Chair.  The goal is to provide nesting habitat for cavity nesting birds such as American Kestrels, Wood Ducks, Western Bluebirds, Barn Owls.  Other species will use nestboxes also:  Ash-throated Flycatcher, Oak Titmouse, House Wren, Tree Swallow and the occasional Screech-owl. 

Part of the project involved getting the ranchers and landowners in the areas where we wanted to install boxes to agree to the idea.  It wasn't a hard sell at all actually. 

The Jersey bull came into the pictures during one installation outing on a ranch in the grasslands of Madera county.  In our area we are used to the big beef cattle bulls who in general, have proved somewhat on the mellow side.  After all, they get to wander around a gorgeous countryside in the company of their charming female companions and their offspring.  The Jersey bull who lived with his harem in the pasture where we were putting up nestboxes did not have anything close to that temperament.  He was not happy with us at all, and threatened to charge the ATV where we had our tools and equipment and generally made us aware of his aggravation.  When he got too close, I stomped my foot and shook a can of nails at him, making a oh so scary noise which did cause him to back off somewhat.

Jersey BullJersey BullThis particular bull we encountered while we were putting up nestboxes for the first year of our local Audubon chapter's Kestrel conservation program. This particular rancher, kept this Jersey bull on the pasture where several nestboxes were installed. He was not at all happy with us - he threatened to attack the ATV we'd used to haul our material. I shook a can of nails at him to keep him at bay.

A week or so later, we got to talking with the rancher and mentioned this bull. The rancher told us, "Oh, he's really mean, you've got to watch out for him."

Luckily, our naivete didn't end up putting us in harm's way. It must have been the nails.


In the end, nobody was butted or knocked down.

The next week, when we returned to check on the boxes, we ran into the rancher and during our conversation, we mentioned the bull.  We learned the breed - we hadn't known it was a Jersey, only that it was different from the usual bulls.  Also, he informed us "that bull is MEAN", and we should be careful of him.  Oops.  Good thing our naivete didn't lead us to a worse outcome. 

Below image shows the context and some of the body language of this guy.

Jersey Bull EncounterJersey Bull EncounterThe Jersey bull in action with his girlfriends looking on.




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