Bovine Group Dynamics
Updated: Mar 17, 2019
This story continues from the post entitled Welcoming the Moo Matri cows to the Mother Divine Program Campus, posted November 18, 2017 (https://www.moomatri.com/blog/welcoming-the-moo-matri-cows-to-the-mother-divine-program-campus)
During my visit with the cows the next few days, I started to notice the dynamics among these 6 cows…there was a clear hierarchy of dominance among them. Certainly I could understand Kavita, she is a heifer, being the youngest in the herd, she always hid behind her mother, Devi, even when it came to feeding. After giving carrots to all the adult cows, even when I directed a small piece of carrots at her and calling out her name, Kavita still wouldn’t come forward for the carrot, nor would her mother Devi would take her carrot. Before I could figure out the reason, Lalita walked over and ate that piece of carrot from my hand. Upon hearing me calling for Kavita many times, Katherine came over and explained to me “who is the boss in the herd ”.
Katherine said, “Lakshmi is the eldest and has been the herd leader. But as it looks now, her daughter Lalita seems to have taken over this role. Cows enjoy staying and moving together with the herd. But when it comes to feeding, one can easily tell who is the boss”. Lalita always got to choose where she wanted to eat. She could even make all the other cows move around, shifting from one place to another for her sake. Lakshmi, Vedi, Narayani could do a similar thing to the other cows who are at the lower end of the line. Obviously Devi and Kavita were at the very bottom of the line. It seemed to me that the cows respected the hierarchy in the herd as I saw how naturally and willingly the cows move around to please the higher ones. While Katherine was around, I asked her why only 6 cows came and where was the 7th cow. Katherine explained that Gopi, she’s Vedi’s daughter was kept behind with a small herd of cows of the neighbor in Goshen. Though Gopi was older than Kavita and her mother Vedi was higher on the line than Devi (Kavita’s mother), somehow all the older cows, especially Devi just wouldn’t let Gopi eat when it came to feeding. For the sake of making it easier for Gopi, Katherine decided to leave Gopi behind with another herd.
I was curious and asked Katherine “ what decides who is the leader in the herd, is it their age?” Katherine said “yes, age can be a major factor, because older cows have more experience with which they can lead the young cows from danger, it’s a matter of survival. But more than this will be intelligence, the most intelligent cow in the herd will be the leader. You’ll soon see how the leader and the older cows care for the other cows in her herd, it’s very beautiful ….”
Part three of this story will be published soon.