cow tales: the stinkiest eye


I’ve been wanting to mention stink-eye for a while now.

You didn’t know about stink-eye?  Well.  Stink-eye is a quirky cow thing that cracks me up.  I haven’t been able to properly share it with you because somehow or other, whenever a good stink-eye situation happens, it’s such a rare, unexpected and fleeting moment, I miss the photo.

Dopey as you think cows may/may not be, they have a pretty extensive vocabulary of moos, hums, growls and head tosses. What I call stink-eye is the body language cows use to warn others to back off, slow it down and respect their space. And, while it does crack me up, it’s no joke. Ignore cow stink-eye at your own risk.

Approach a cow too suddenly or introduce a new cow into a herd and you’re likely to see a good display of stink-eye. What will you see?


A half-hearted stink-eye from Zay… She’s not nearly so stinky as she used to be


A cow will turn sideways to give an intimidating side view of their full puffed-up size, head down, chin to chest, back arched and posed to look as intimidating as possible. The eye will be widened to show a full white ring and there will be some huffing, blowing, pawing and possibly drooling.

Some cows are quicker than others to stink-eye, and no cow has a stinkier eye than Zay.


Not Stink-Eye exactly, but typical Beatrice


Except maybe Beatrice.

Beatrice is quick to give a good stink-eye.  Thing is, in the standard issue Bovine Dictionary, I don’t think stink-eye means what Beatrice thinks it does.

Beatrice is more happy-goofy Labradoodle than Rottweiler.  Somehow I think she’s got the signal for “HEY THERE LADY, COME PET ME RIGHT NOW! mixed up with the one for “BACK OFF RIGHT NOW OR ELSE!!!”.

She’s got the right-now part down, but Beatrice seems a little off with the rest.


The only thing worse than stink-eye??  This!  I Saw her Twerking in the barn…


Hopefully the Ladies aren’t making fun of her behind her back like your friends did when you were screeching out wrong lyrics to popular songs with all your might. But you know what? Somehow I don’t think Beatrice would really care what those silly Ladies say anyway. Beatrice marches to her own drum.

But Zay? Make no mistake – Zay knows exactly what it means…

Zay & Beatrice go way back. Here’s more:

beatrice: braveheart, bold or just plain bad?

two hellos and a kidnapping

8 thoughts on “cow tales: the stinkiest eye

  1. Hah ha. That’s great. The dog often gives us what we also call the “stinkeye” when she gets a less than desirable treat. Or when we take her out in the rain.

  2. Loved the pics Jackie. Screeching out the lyrics… I will never ever forget my friend singing “I shot the sheriff but I swear it was in silky pant”. Still makes me laugh and probably do a little stink eye.

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