Do Cows & Horses Get Along? 6 Important Things To Consider

Horses like to be out in the field and so do cows. So, should you keep them together harsher to keep them separate? Here’s what you need to know.

Do Cows And Horses Get Along?

You can normally pasture cows and horses together. Horses like having some company and cows are better than no company. You need to be aware of flies as cows might attract horn flies that may irritate the horse.

Here are some more details on what you should be aware of before you let a cow into the fencing with your horse.

Horse and Cow in field together getting along

7 Things To Consider When Horses & Cows Graze Together

Many times cows and horses fit really well together. They can offer great companionship for each other and especially the horse will need someone around.

Horses are intelligent and social creatures and they do not like to be left alone in the field all day.

Here are some things to consider before you leave them around your cattle.

1) Cows might attract (too many) flies

Whenever you have cows in the field you also have a ton of flies. Some types of flies are more frustrating for the horse to be around than others.

You need to pay attention to how the horse reacts to the flies. It might not pay any attention to them at all but it might also be the case that it is really annoyed with them.

There are some specific files you need to look at and those are called the horn flies.

Here’s what it looks like:

Horn fly is annoying around horses

They are very common around cows and they shouldn’t be found in great numbers around your horse. They will bite the horse around 20-40 times per day and it’s very annoying, as you can imagine.

The best way to get rid of them is to remove the cattle. Because if you are in an area with many horn flies they will stick around where the cattle are found. So you will need to find another best friend for your horse.

2) Things to know about parasites

Cows horses can both live with parasites in their intestines for a long time. So it’s important to pay attention to which parasite each species attract. Because one parasite can be dangerous to one type of animal and not the other.

Generally, cows and horses will not host the same parasites. And the parasites they DO host are normally not dangerous to the other part.

So this is great news.

However, you might discuss with your veterinarian in order to make sure that the area to live in is a great place for them to go together. You might need to treat your horse with some deworming in order for it to work out.

3) They should be fed separately

Horses and cows should not eat the same feed.

Cattle will often be fed a type of grain mix that’s not suitable for the horse to eat. The additives in the cow’s food are not good for the horse. It can even be lethal for the horse to start eating the food that was meant for the cow.

So you need to put some procedures in place in order to fit them separately.

They can both feet on the grass in the field but they should not have access to each other’s food. So you need to bring them inside in order to feed them.

4) You should check the fencing

Horses are a lot more curious animals than cows. This also means that you can keep cattle inside with the barbed-wire fence and that’s NOT a good idea with horses.

You need to make sure the fencing will keep the horses inside while not being dangerous to the horses.

They require a taller fence and they shouldn’t be exposed to a high voltage such as electric fences designed for tough cattle. Horses are smarter and will need a better fence but with less voltage in the wires.

You can read everything there is to know about how to keep the horses inside the fence. It takes a lot more work than with the cattle.

5) Horses and cows do not eat the same hay

The stomach of a cow is very unique. As you might know, they have a very specific system that enables them to chew the same food over and over again. This also means that they can eat a very low quality of hay and still get nutrition from it.

You can read hear exactly how the 4-chamber stomach of the cow function.

Horses, on the other hand, will need to have a pretty high quality of hay. They have a more simple digestion system that’s actually most similar to that of humans. Their digestion system is simply not as effective as the cow’s digestion system so they need hay that is more expensive than the cheap stuff you can serve for your cows.

6) They don’t eat the same type of grass

Both horses and cattle are herbivores. This means that they will eat grass and other green plants. But They did not necessarily eat the same grass or even the same part of the grass, for that matter.

Horses need grass with a low level of fructan content while cows need grass with a high level of fructan. This is something to think about before you choose which grass to grow in your field.

Horses can have a hard time digesting the high fructan content in some sorts of grass. This can lead to problems with their stomachs.

What is Fructan?
Fructan in the grass is a type of sugar. It is always present in the grass as it helps the grass grow as a result of photosynthesis. But for some grass sorts the levels are too high for the horse to digest it properly.

Because horses have long upper teeth they can rip the grass from the ground. Cattle, on the other hand, will use their tongue to wiggle around the grass and pull it over at the middle. This is not a big deal but it means that they can actually often feed on the same little green area over a long period of time.

Do Horses like Cows?

Generally, horses like being around cattle. Horses like to have some company in the field and a cow can offer companionship for the horse. In the absence of other horses, a lonely horse will enjoy the company of a cow.

As you might have read in some of our previous articles, horses are often used to work with cattle and they have a good understanding of the cattle.

The horse might even try to play around with the cow. The cow is not as intelligent as you probably have guessed. So it’s much better to keep another horse around if you have the option.

Maybe one of your neighbors also has a lonely horse, donkey, pony, etc. They will make a better friend with your horse than a cow. But again, a cow is better than no friend at all.

Do horses and bulls get along?

Many times horses and bulls get along just great. You probably think that. Are aggressive because they might look terrifying with the longhorns but in reality, they are pretty calm creatures and we’ll leave your horses alone.

But you do need to watch them carefully for the first couple of days because they might not go well together. It depends on several factors.

Sometimes the bull will feel threatened by a really big horse and sometimes a couple of stallions will also cause trouble around a bull.

If you’re hearing noise around your horses it might not be because of the bull. It’s much more likely that they have encountered has set of coyotes or other predators of the night. Here’s all you need to know about animals that can harm your horses.

There are other animals that are a lot bigger danger to your horses than a bull. Bears, for instance, can be quite aggressive if they get into a close encounter with your horses. Luckily, your horses are typically faster than most of the predators that hunt a night.

Was this article helpful? Like Dislike

Click to share...

Did you find wrong information or was something missing?
We would love to hear your thoughts! (PS: We read ALL feedback)