Cattle have their own set of laws

Farm and Dairy file photo

I feel it is my duty to inform you that if you have a hankerin’ to artistically brighten up a cow, do not move to Texas. It is illegal there to graffiti someone’s cow, and it forever remains unlawful to milk another person’s cow in the Lone Star state.

A flink

Along with that bit of wisdom, you should probably know that a group of twelve or more cows is called a flink.

Amazingly, there are 800 breeds of cows in the world. Do you think you could come close to naming half of them? That’s a whole lot of variety in the cattle world.


A red cow would not be capable of getting a bull angry any more than a black cow would, because cows cannot “see” the color red. In the bullfighting world, it is the motion of the cape that gets the bull stirred up, not the color.

A cow drinks a full bathtub of water every day, but there are states that specifically make it unlawful to restrain a cow in an outdoor bathtub. Where in the world did that law come from?

Cattle and stairs

A cow can go up a flight of stairs but could never come back down, because of the way the cow’s knee is built. This boatload of information came to me by way of a favorite flavored iced tea drink. Each bottle cap offers tidbits of worthless information, but somehow this has me excited to open the next one, just to see if I’ll learn something new.

Alaska law

Just today I found out that Alaska, where it is illegal to fatten a cow, pig or sheep within city limits, was purchased from Russia for about two cents an acre. All of this spiked my curiosity, so I began poking around the internet for more useless information.

The margarine law

I learned that serving oleo margarine in public places, including schools, restaurants, hospitals and prisons, is illegal in Wisconsin, according to a statute in place since 1895.

Gov. Warren Knowles once referred to margarine as “the yellow stick from Satan himself.”

By law, cheese must be “highly pleasing” or it is not to be served or sold.

Livestock leads

In that great dairy state, it is also illegal not to give livestock the right-of-way.

In Ohio’s Bay Village, it is illegal to walk a cow down Lake Road.

In Arkansas, be sure to remain mindful of the clock, as it is unlawful to walk a cow down Main Street after 1 p.m. on Sunday.

In California, it is unlawful to drive more than 2,000 sheep down Hollywood Boulevard at one time, though it is acceptable if the flock is broken up into smaller numbers with breaks in between.


It is completely legal, however, for anyone to let their sheep and cows graze in the public gardens at any time but Sunday. (This led me to wonder if it is even possible to find a patch of real grass in Hollywood anymore.)

If you decide to make hay in Baltimore, it might be good to know that it is highly illegal to pitch bales of hay from a second story window.

Wear a diaper

And lastly, in the great state of New Hampshire, any cattle crossing state roads must be fitted with a diaper.


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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, and three grandchildren.



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