Sussex — As the thermometer starts to climb back to warmer temperatures this spring, youthful mischief is also on the rise. Farmers around the greater Sussex area are keeping a close eye on their cattle herds as the young people begin to stay out late at night and celebrate the prom season with their friends. In recent weeks, more cattle have been found tipped over by rowdy teens than ever before in the rural areas of Southern New Brunswick.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever personally tried to stand a cow back up, but them sons-of-bitches is heavy,” said Sussex dairy farmer Hebert Friars. “Even if you get a couple of farmhands to help out, you still aren’t going to lift them back up. I have a lot of work to do around here — I don’t have time to be driving the tractor around the pastures all day to pick up tipped-over cows with the front-end loader.”
Cow-tipping is the infamous activity of sneaking up on a sleeping, upright cow and “tipping” it over for entertainment. It’s a well-known fact that cows sleep standing up like horses, and if one encounters a cow in a deep slumber, it’s possible to push them over onto the ground. While a tipped cow is seldom injured, it usually requires assistance to stand upright again. This act can result in a field full of mewling moos until the cows are rescued by their frustrated owners.
This age-old act of vandalism has regained popularity recently, and with the advent of summer weather and the end of the school year, cow-tipping has reached record levels. “I’ve had between 80 and 100 head of cattle to put upright every week since it got warm,” said Friars. “One night, they tipped over nearly 50 cattle — in a single night! We were standing up cows all day from dawn until… well, when the cows came home.”
Farmers are blaming a popular new smartphone app, “Cow Tippr,” for enabling this record-setting level of toppled cattle. Youth can geolocate cow herds in real-time, and share those locations on social media. The app will provide GPS coordinates and turn-by-turn directions to each herd’s location, accurate to within a range of 30 metres. The app also allows teens to challenge each other to real-time contests to see who can tip over the most cattle within a 60-minute period. “Technology has enabled these little bastards to become more efficient than ever before. If I catch one of them first, they’ll be cleaning my pasteurizer from the inside!”
The Sussex detachment of the RCMP is conducting an ongoing investigation into the bowled-over bovines. “Most cows weigh over half a tonne, and easily resist a single person’s efforts to tip them over,” said Const. Angus Jersey. “Tipping a cow would require an exertion of 2,910 newtons of force, and a single person could not do that. So these perpetrators are like working in teams of 2 or more people. “
“We have collected dozens of footprints in cow patties from around the area,” continued Jersey. “We can compare the suspects’ footwear to the impressions we have, and make an arrest. The detachment office reeks of cow dung, so we are highly motivated to find these individuals right away so we can dispose of that… evidence.”