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How to Cow-Tip

Cow-tipping is legendary, yet animal experts say it’s nearly impossible to do. Here’s how to “tip” the odds in your favor.


  • Step 1: Choose a pasture Choose a dairy cow pasture. Dairy cows tend to be more docile than beef cattle, although they are still easily startled.
  • Step 2: Scout it out While it’s still light, pick an entry point from which you can make a quick getaway without being seen.
  • Step 3: Return after dark Return with your friends after dark wearing boots that can be hosed off (unless you want to tramp cow poop home). If you have to drive to the pasture, park your vehicle for a fast escape.
  • TIP: You’re a cow commando—wear dark clothing to decrease your visibility.
  • Step 4: Find a cow Weave your way through the pasture to the nearest isolated cow. Travel downwind and stay hunkered down—cows might seem gentle, but their instinct is to assume you’re a predator and bolt.
  • Step 5: Avoid bulls Make sure your intended target is not a bull. Remember: if there’s an udder, no need to shudder… but if it’s a steer, stay clear! And stay away from mama cows who have babies close by.
  • TIP: Forget anything you’ve heard about beaming a flashlight into a cow’s eyes to see if it’s sleeping; unlike horses, cows can’t sleep standing up. If it’s tippable, it’s awake.
  • Step 6: Push Sneak up as close as you can get to the cow, and have everyone get ready to hit the cow with both hands. Then count to three and push!
  • Step 7: Run Now RUN! It might be hard to run while you’re giggling and dodging cow pies, but you and your friends will want to escape to a safe place so the cranky cow (or crabby farmer) won’t find you.
  • Step 8: Keep tipping You can try to sneak back into the pasture and tip more cows, but you’ll probably just tire yourself out or start a stampede that’s sure to wake the farmer—which might just be part of the fun.
  • FACT: A recent study showed that a full two-thirds of animal-related accidents in the state of Minnesota happened on dairy farms.

You Will Need

  • Several strong partners in crime
  • A dairy cow pasture
  • Boots that can be hosed off
  • Black clothing

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