Trips to the farm are frequently thought of as the ideal day out for young children. However, while those few-day-old baby animals might certainly be adorable, you probably don’t want to leave your kids alone in the pen with them while their incredibly protective mother is around. As with any animal, those found on a farm should be treated with a certain of respect; even domesticated creatures can be unpredictable and as such potentially dangerous. But which of these should you try and keep the closest eye on?
Most people know to be wary of bulls, especially if you get between them and their lady friends. However, it’s not only bulls that can be dangerous. Much like their male counterparts, cows are incredibly big and heavy, while in some breeds the females also have horns. They can are also incredibly dangerous when part of a herd; frightened cows might stampede, while if they perceive you as a threat to them or their calves they may gang up on or even charge you.
Horses can quite easily kill a human, and while this is generally accidental they have been known to do so intentionally. Falls from horses can cause serious injuries such as broken necks or backs, and even if the actual fall doesn’t kill you it is always possible that the horse may step or fall on its rider (fallen jockeys have been trampled in the middle of races in this manner). Much like bulls, stallions - intact male horses - are the most dangerous, especially when you’re standing between them and a mare they have their eye on.
As always, it’s the male goats that cause the majority of the problems. Like dogs, goats need to know who’s boss, and they’re quick to learn bad habits if they’re profitable (if they get used to people throwing food to distract them in order to run away when they butt them, for example, they’re likely to repeat this practice again in future). It’s best to get goats castrated and dehorned so as to nip any potential aggression - and weaponry growth - in the bud.
Sheep can end up butting just as much as goats in the right circumstances, but as always it’s the rams who tend to be responsible for most of it. Ramming sheep can crush you against fences or known you clean over, but fortunately they don’t have hooves as deadly as their larger livestock peers.
Fully grown pigs are bigger than most people expect, and are capable of being incredibly aggressive should they choose to be. Sows defending their piglets are particularly dangerous, while wild boars can easily gore and kill the unprepared. It also pays to remember that pigs are omnivores; they have been known to tear dogs to shreds for getting too close to their babies, their teeth more than up to the task.
Of all the people who seek compensation for farm accidents, you can see why a surprising number of claims are made due to the actions of animals!