Throw It Back Thursday – Cow Tipping Made Simple

Cow tipping, like many other things, is dependent on a number of various factors. First of all, was the cow friendly? Did the cow provide good customer service? Did they make sure your coffee cup stayed full? All of these questions factor in, of course, but the real question about cow tipping is how much do you leave? Well, some other questions might be, where did the cow learn to wait tables, and is it, perhaps, just a little bit odd that a cow is serving you your steak? Is it sanitary? All of these things come into consideration when you leave your consideration for the cow.

Okay, okay, I know some of you are saying, “Herb, is that a real thing? Cow tipping?” Well, now you’ve let the cat out of the bag. Or the cow out of the barn, to be more appropriate. I read the Dumbest Blogger’s story, number 234, to be exact, called Unidentified Objects, and we got into a conversation in his comments section about the time-honored sport of cow tipping. As we were conversing I realized that some of you, even if you grew up in a seemingly rural area, may not know about this great sport.

Cows are top-heavy creatures that will stand in one place for long periods of time on four spindly legs. Even though they are around 1500 pounds, if you come at them from the side and push really hard with your hands, you can tip them over onto their side. Because their legs are so straight and spindly they will stay in this position until morning when the farmer comes out and finds that someone has tipped one of his cows. He will then have to get the tractor and a sling and set it back up again. It used to be said that cows, like horses, sleep standing up but that is just a legend.

First, you need to scout out an appropriate pasture. One with plenty of dairy cows. Out West here they have beef cattle but if you are a novice you probably do not want to start out with these because their horns are really pointy. Anyway, you want to pick out a place that you can make a quick getaway from. This is important because you will be doing this in the dead of night and a field of cowpies can be pretty slippery, so you want to make sure you know what path you will take. You will also want to consider your wardrobe with care. You must wear all black, of course, and you probably don’t want to wear your best shoes, either. You could probably pick out a couple of likely targets at this scouting time as well.

Return in the dead of night. Another nice thing about cow tipping is that it can be done as a team sport or individually. Either way, you will want to find an experienced person to drive for you. If you know a member of the Future Farmers of America you can probably get someone who will help you quite willingly and offer additional insights. You will definitely want them to have a good camera that can zoom in from where they are waiting in the car so they can film you in all of your glory.

Cautiously approach the target from the side. You don’t want to startle it into thinking that you are a predator. Get as close to the cow as you can, facing perpendicular to her long side and kind of figure out where the middle is. Place both of your hands on the side of the cow and give a sudden, hard shove and she will tip right over. If she doesn’t, you may have to back off and get a running start to get enough force up. As a novice, you may have to try several runs. Be careful not to slip. You do not want to cause a stir and you do want to get it done quickly as the cattle may start lowing at the disturbance. if there is too big of a disturbance you may see the porch light come on and hear a loud booming noise. This would be the farmer coming out to scare away a possible coyote or other animal. Duck down behind the cow to avoid being seen.

This is where your nerves of steel come into play. Wait until the noise of the cows dies down and the farmer has gone back inside and the porch light goes off, then try again. This is also where the patience and nerve of your driver come into play. I have heard of (and this is not because of personal experience, but I have good friends) drivers taking off without the person as the porch light comes on and the shotgun starts booming. You might wind up having to army-crawl through the mud to get to the fence and even be forced to walk back to town. If a sheriff’s deputy comes along and asks where you are going and why are you crying and kicking at things, in no wise tell them what you were doing or who you were with. Be cooperative and polite as these questions will seem like a legitimate concern to the officer, and don’t lie. You may have to think quick on your feet, however, but remember that, for whatever reason, someone could misconstrue your harmless fun as trespassing and attempting to damage property and injure livestock (even though it is next to impossible to injure a cow by tipping it). Explain that you are out for a walk in the night air and if they ask what you are doing so far from town explain that you really, really like to walk. If they ask why you are covered in filth, you can turn the tables on them and say that you took a fall and where were they and why didn’t they help you.

It could happen that your driver would have come back and pass by this scene and just continue on. Just ignore them until they come back to get you after the officer has left as you don’t want to have to answer any additional questions. When you are reunited with your driver he will discuss with you his plans for the photos and video footage he got of you. Well, nowadays, he won’t even have to wait for the film in the camera to be developed but can help make you famous almost instantly.

Well, that’s all I have time for this evening if I am going to post this in my committed time. Perhaps some time in the future I can teach you about the incredible sport of snipe hunting.


  1. Farmers, police, and full coffee You lead such an amazing life Herb
    What I want to know is if 20% tips are standard How hard do you have to hit a cow to tip it 20% precision is key

    Stay well and laugh when you can

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Oklahoma is Okay on the Blogging A – Z Challenge – The Haps With Herb

I like comments and try to respond to them all if I can:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.