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10 Realistic Ways to Rent a Birthday Cow (Yes, It’s a Thing!)

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In a community forum, a British man earnestly seeks advice on getting up close to a cow as a part of his birthday celebration, contemplating the possibility of renting one due to his deep affection for these gentle creatures. While this may initially strike some as amusing, forum members went on to suggest remarkably practical approaches for anyone looking to spend a day in the company of a cow. This endeavor has the potential to develop into an enjoyable and inclusive event suitable for individuals of all ages.

1. Organize a Farm Tour

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Someone shared they recently did this for their mom. “I actually did this for my mom one Mother’s Day. She loves cows, and my husband happened to meet a guy who was in veterinary school who was working on a nearby farm. He gave us a tour and let my mom feed some of the baby cows. She had the time of her life.” You might have to call and ask if you don’t know anyone with a farm.

2. Reach Out to a Farmer

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For something a little less than formal, simply reach out to a local farmer and ask if they will let you see their animals. Many farmers on the community thread said they’d love to show city folks their animals and overall operation. Depending on where you live, this may require a long drive to reach a suitable farm.

3. Visit a Zoo

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Local zoos sometimes have farm animals, which will require some research. For example, our local zoo has goats, giant rabbits, chickens, alpacas, and donkeys at it (no cows). If the zoo doesn’t have these, search for a local petting zoo that might pop up during an event, such as a fair.

4. Check All the Options

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One person offers a variety of solutions. “Places where you can do this almost definitely exist. I don’t know what they are called or what kind of places they are (rescues, tourist farms, wineries with one cow for some reason) but I have heard about them online.” It’s worth a search!

5. Go to the Netherlands

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This may be the most unique answer: “I live in the Netherlands and there are multiple companies here literally called “Hug a Cow” that offer this service. It is not uncommon to give this as a gift on someone’s birthday (I gifted my mother this on her 60th birthday).” How fun for cow lovers!

6. Go to Switzerland

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Apparently, the Netherlands isn’t the only place to hire a cow. Someone writes, “You can rent a cow in Switzerland to do this, you can rent it for an entire week where you have to take care of the cow and all it entails for a really authentic experience and you can pet it all day. Though you need to book it well in advance, the waiting lists are long.”

7. Volunteer

man with a cow
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In some areas, there are opportunities to volunteer at an animal rescue; some even have farm animals. One writer shares, “When i was in high school and needed to do community service hours (and again a year out of high school when the court ordered me to do some) i volunteered at two different places. One was an SPCA type of place but for wild animals where I’d feed and clean poop of many varied species like tortoises ducks pigs rabbits etc, and the other place was an equine therapy place for disabled folks where I’d shovel horsesh** but i could pet a horse sometimes.”

8. Find a Cow for Free

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Cows aren’t hard to find, according to many users that say they are curious and will come over to see what you want if you get near them. Here is some advice from a farmer: “Urban people are just something else. For those wondering how to pet a Cow (for free):

  • Go outside your city
  • Spot the Cows
  • Walk up to the fence and do Cow sounds
  • Pet the Cow

Don’t go among the Cows, they are the Animal that kill the most people after Mosquitoes (true fact). They are not bad, they are just dumb and weigh half a ton. A scared Cow is like a car out of control doing donuts.”

9. Rent a Bunch of Livestock in New Jersey

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Someone shares, “Around here people rent livestock, mostly to park them in a field or lawn for a certain amount of time, just enough to qualify as a farm, and save BooKoo bucks on taxes. So, yes, at least in New Jersey.”

10. Hang Out Near a Pasture

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For a low-key experience, follow this person’s advice. “I used to live across the street from a cow pasture. I would walk over and hang out outside the fence and pet the cows. They were all very gentle and frankly act like big clumsy dogs.”


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