Why Do Cows Have Nose Rings?

Why Do Cows Have Nose Rings

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Earlier this morning as I was strolling around in the city I ended up passing by the veterinary hospital. Their workers were unloading a cow from a truck. The cow’s nose ring came off and the nose was terribly bleeding. 

On witnessing this bloody scene, I begin questioning myself why do the livestock keepers get their nose pierced in the first place? It’s cruel I thought for a second. As I couldn’t help the poor animal so I considered taking off a better option. 

But this bloody scene didn’t leave my mind the whole way so I began researching why do cows have to wear a nose ring? Do they like nose rings?

As far as I knew at that time not all cows are made to go through this painful procedure but some of them just aren’t that lucky. Let’s find out the reason behind this mystery.

Do cows like nose rings?

Probably not. They only feel pain and they can not see if it looks good or not. The livestock keepers try to control them with the help of these nose rings, so they probably hate nose rings as being controlled by someone is not a nice feeling. Even if they don’t hate nose rings, they don’t like them either.

Why do cows have nose rings?

The livestock keepers usually get their nose pierced to put a ring in it to control them with that.  Animals are stronger than humans so taming and controlling them is never easy. Nose rings help in providing better control over the beast. Even livestock keepers get the younger ones pierced, not to control them, but to discourage suckling.

Does the cow wear it forever?

No, they don’t have to wear it forever. Their keepers can remove the ring whenever they want. You can simply cut the ring or unscrew it to take it off.

Is it comfortable for a cow? 

For the first few days, it is super uncomfortable. Like humans, as the piercing is healed, they get used to it and eventually comfortable with that.

Bulls and domestic cattle are more likely to have nose rings

According to animals.mom Piercing bull and domestic cattle’s nose and inserting a metal ring is a tradition that has been living with us for decades. Bulls are generally aggressive so the livestock keepers try to control them with their nose rings. The domestic cattle are pierced for the same reason even though they aren’t that aggressive. 

Size of Cow’s Ring

Rings are usually made of brass, copper, stainless steel, aluminum, and sometimes plastic. The livestock keepers belonging to the last century used to try only iron or brass rings but nowadays the rings are usually made of steel. Whatever the nose ring is made of, it always closes with a screw. RSPA says The ring is selected by keeping the size of a cow nose in mind. Usually, it is about 3 to 4 inches.

Temporary vs permanent Cow nose ring

There are two types of animal rings; temporary and permanent ones. Temporary rings are inserted for special occasions but permanent rings are made for the bulls that usually take part in bull shows, exhibitions, and races. The bulls in bull shows are more fierce than the bulls live entertaining the cows on farms so their keepers have to keep them in their control all the time.

The temporary nose rings are made for calves and domestic cattle but permanent ones are specifically designed for the professional bulls.

Nose rings can save you from deadly attacks

When bulls and cows get aggressive it gets hard for a man to come out of the attack intact. No matter how experienced you are in controlling and dealing with such attacks. Nose rings are inserted as a safety measure for such raids.

It’s cruel in calves case

They get pierced between 8 to 12 months of their age to separate them from their mothers. As their keepers do not want their mothers to keep nursing them. Nose ring discourages suckling so, it’s okay to get the mature cows and bulls pierced but in the younger ones’ case, it’s cruel.

Why does Cow nose get pierced when they have ears?

It’s funny but that a legit question as they have ears as well then why do only their nose is attacked? Well, the Nose is a sensitive part of their body so, inserting a ring in this delicate part of their body gives better control.

Who inserts the nose ring? Or who pierce their septum?

A vet usually. Keep that in mind that under no circumstances cattlemen attempt to pierce the cow’s septum. To avoid mishaps it better to get the services of a vet for such purposes as they know how to handle the animal.

The procedure involves creating a deep puncture wound in the tissues of the septum. It’s scary and painful so the animal goes mad. The vet then applies anaesthesia to the septum to minimize the pain and for speedy healing. I have seen experienced cattlemen handling such cases as well but usually, a vet is called to get done with this procedure safely.


We often see domestic cattle and bulls wearing nose rings. The nose rings are generally get inserted to control the animal by the most sensitive part of their body, the Nose. Nose piercing is done between the age of 8 to 12 months to discourage suckling and for the reason that the calves are easier to manage (at the time piercing) than the fully grown mature bulls. Separating a baby calf from their mothers by inserting a ring in their nose is no doubt cruel but there’s no other way to control and teach them how to live on their own.


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