Now that county fair season here in the Midwest is winding down, I just wanted to take some time to address some of the biggest pet peeves us showman have when it comes to walking through the large animal barns. This will just be a quick little PSA about the do's and don'ts when in our building.
1. Pet The Cows Without Asking.
This is the #1 no no. We understand that the main reason you probably came into the barn was to pet some animals but it's critical that you ask first. If you don't ask, you might end up petting an animal that could literally punt your 2-year-old across the room. You don't know the temperament of that animal, the owner does. So ask. Better safe than sorry.
2. Pet The Cows When They Are Laying Down.
The reason you don't do this is because they are sleeping. Would you want to be woken up by some weirdo petting your back?? Probably not. Also, this might startle the resting animal and cause them to stand up suddenly which is dangerous if you are right behind them.
3. Let Your Kids Run Around.
If you know your kid is a runner, strap em' in a stroller or get a leash. The barn is no place for running around. If there is an animal walking around with the owner, the swift movements could spook them, or your kid could run into an area in which they shouldn't.
4. Keep Pushing Your Stroller When We Are Walking At You With A 1000lb Animal.
You would think this would be a no-brainer, but for those who don't get it, our animals have the right of way. It's for your own safety.
5. Complain About The Smell.
You came to the fair knowing there would be animals here. Did you think it would smell like Hollister or like a flower garden???
6. Ignore The Fact It's Show Day.
It is so important when walking through any animal barn you look for signs that it is show day for that species. Things to look for are, proper dress for the showman (white pants for dairy cows, blinged out jeans and shirts for beef, sheep etc), extra gates set up or security escorting animals to and from the show ring, or just the serious look the exhibitors have on their faces when they are putting the final touches on their animals. If you see any of these signs, please back off. If you have questions, I suggest go watch the show because most likely you will find your answers there. Or come back later when the show is over and the exhibitors are done stressing.
7. Being Scared Of The Animal.
If you act scared or jittery, so will the animal you are trying to pet. They pick up on your nervousness more than you think. If I'm letting you pet my animal, odds are I know you are safe to do so. I wouldn't let you pet them if they were a psycho, so just breathe and pet with confidence.