Here's a cool story I found that you might like about some dairy cows that were saved from the slaughterhouse...
There's group of people from Bergisches Land (near Cologne), who founded the association “Kuhrettung Rhein-Berg – Lebenshof für Tiere” (Cow Rescue Rhein-Berg – Sanctuary for Animals) in July 2012.
The background: A family dairy farm had to give up business for economic reasons. The last ones of the herd, consisting of eleven dairy cows and 14 heifers, were facing slaughter. Only a young ox could be rescued early in time and would have had stayed there, all on his own. To prevent this, we founded an association together with the farmer, whom we won over with the idea for our project. The association's goal is to create a sanctuary, so they may continue living in their familiar surroundings, under best animal welfare conditions, hopefully until the natural end of their lives.
This intrigued me so I looked around and found some more insights...
I grew up on a small farm where, amongst other creatures, we had a small herd of beef cattle that you might call the "all-weather"* version - Scottish Highland cattle. They have a large barn they can stay in if they choose, but unless it's a thunderstorm, they prefer to stay outside, even in the snow. They are pretty mellow creatures, and for the most part they only seem to act in a lively manner for two reasons: the sound of the call to dinner or the occasional antics of these guys with whom they share the grazing fields.
They have been known to frolic like giant puppies at times, but never when they know they are being observed. The moment they realize someone is around, they will instantly stop and "act normal" in such an abrupt, ridiculous manner that it reminds you of a little kid that's just been caught in the midst of a cookie heist. I'd just chalk it up to a natural survival tactic, but it's the look they give you right after they stop - sort of a "Frolicking? Us? Nonsense. You must have been mistaken. We're far to dignified to behave in such a manner." kind of look that just makes me giggle every time. --chambers
They weren't cows inside. They were waiting to be, but they forgot. Now they see sky, and they remember what they are.
I seriously cannot wait to turn my cows out this Spring, though having felt the ground shake as thirteen of them circled me at top speed one morning makes me a little nervous about it as well. Cattle are big. --stet
The home I grew up in had a cow pasture abutting the property, and the cows that grazed there were kind of entertaining.
The cows LOVED the smell of fireworks when we set them off for the fourth of July. They'd line up along the fence-line closest to us and moo and watch along with us. They loved piles of fresh cut grass. When they'd hear the lawn mower, they'd line up along the fence line waiting for us to dump the grass catcher bags over the fence for them. We had an apple tree and they would stretch their necks and their tongues to reach the apples, and sometime use each other as boosters to stand on their hind legs leaning on another cow to reach the apples. They also loved treats from the garden. If we had a zucchini get too big? They'd eat it. When we'd work in the garden, there they were lined up at the fence hoping for a split tomato or bad cucumber or something. --schnee