Who You Gonna Call? Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

good fences

Last summer, when we arrived at the ranch, we saw cows. As we pulled up the driveway, our excitement turned to surprise—there were cows on our property! Turns out, they weren’t ours; they belonged to the neighbors.

Now, cows are wonderful creatures, but having unexpected bovine guests munching on your landscaping isn’t exactly ideal. The good news is, there are steps you can take to handle the situation and prevent future livestock incursions. By following these steps, you can also build a positive relationship with your neighbors – after all, good fences make good neighbors!

1. Call the Owner

The first step is to try and figure out who owns these surprise visitors. Do you recognize them? Have you met your neighbors yet? A friendly chat might be all it takes to track down the rightful owner. This initial contact is important for two reasons. First, it allows you to get the cows back to their proper pasture, minimizing any damage to your property. Second, it opens the door for neighborly communication. If, in the future, your own livestock accidentally wanders onto their land, they’ll be more likely to contact you quickly to resolve the situation.

2. Call the County Brand Inspector if You Don’t Know the Owners

The County Brand Inspector is your official livestock liaison. They specialize in identifying cattle and other branded animals and, most importantly, tracking down their rightful owner. You have the legal right to take temporary custody of the livestock on your property. This essentially means you’re responsible for their well-being until they’re reunited with their owner. This includes providing them with food, water, and shelter.

3. Five Days to Contact Brand Inspector

Even with temporary custody, you’re not expected to be a permanent livestock babysitter. Within five days of taking temporary custody, you MUST contact your County Brand Inspector. They’ll be responsible for identifying the livestock and their owner. This helps reunite the animals with their rightful home and ensures any necessary paperwork is completed. 

Luckily, every county in Colorado has a Brand Inspector.  To find yours, head over to the Colorado Department of Agriculture website: https://ag.colorado.gov/brands/contact-us-brands#County to schedule your brand inspection.

Additional Tips:

  • While you wait for the Brand Inspector, take some pictures of the cattle. This can help with identification.
  • If you have any concerns about the health or well-being of the animals, contact your local animal control department.
  • Consider this a wake-up call! Now’s the perfect time to research and plan for a proper fence to keep your property secure and avoid future bovine incursions.

Questions, call Cynthia Daughtrey3D Real Estate to help.  303-548-9659.