Why Do Bulls Have Nose Rings?

Bulls are very large and potentially dangerous animals. They are also animals that people sometimes need to interact with. To make bulls easier to control and handle, the bull may be given a nose ring. Like humans and many other animals, bulls have a piece of tissue called a septum in between their nostrils. This tissue is very sensitive so the bull becomes compliant and easily led when a person grabs hold of the ring directly or puts a staff or a piece of rope into the ring. The ring in a bull’s nose acts in a manner very similar to the bit on a horse bridle.

Rings weigh 85 to 170 grams and can be up to 3 inches (7-8cm) in diameter on a very large bull.

Are nose rings on bulls cruel?

Bull rings are used on farms, at agricultural events, rodeos, and cattle shows to help move bulls from one place to another. While a bull nose ring may seem a bit cruel, it’s really the only way a human can safely direct a bull from point A to point B without getting hurt.

What does a bull ring piercing mean?

The septum piercing was used to signify their success and show their rite of passage into manhood. Later on, in history, the piercing of these flesh tunnels became connected to rebel subcultures such as the punk rock movement, is seen as a sign of rebellion. But now virtually everybody is following the piercing trend.

Do bulls have to have a nose ring?

Bulls are given nose rings to make them easier to handle. A fully grown bull is an notoriously dangerous animal that poses a serious threat to his handlers, so using a ring in the nose increases the level of control. The classic nose ring used on bulls is hinged to make it easy to snap open, insert, and lock.

A bull ring is simply a ring, usually made of brass, stainless steel or aluminum that is inserted into the septum. This is usually done by a veterinarian when an animal is between nine and twelve months of age.

The bull ring has been used for generations as a safety measure to control an animal. The septum is a very sensitive area, so a tug on the bull ring will help to bring the animal into submission.

If you have been around farming very long, or even read the paper, you have probably heard of some story about a bull attacking a grown man. While the Miniature Herefords are known for being a docile breed, the bulls are still very large animals. Mitchell, our mature bull, is a doll baby, and we have never worried about the boys handling him.

One involved being separated from his ladies, and one was not taking kindly to a stranger on the farm. It just takes one wrong move or an unusual circumstance to turn the tables. Most times bulls are stalled and shown in very close proximity to heifers and cows.

It is for this reason that a bull ring and nose lead are always a good idea in the show circuit, even if it is not required. They will quickly learn when you are trying to clip on a temporary bull ring…and I wouldn’t want to be around for that fight. It is expected that his tender nose would make eating uncomfortable.

It only hurts for a short time until the skin has healed around the jewelry. As you can see above, Mitchell has no problems feeding his big old dirty face. At least Apollo knows how to stay a little cleaner than Mitchell!Apollo did really well this week with his procedure.

It is better to install the bull ring when young, and you just never know what the show future holds.

Bulls are heavy and unpredictable animals, and their noses are one of their most sensitive parts of the body. For that reason, farmers, or veterinarians, put a steel ring through their noses, so they are more easily managed.

Self-piercing rings (with sharp ends designed to be pressed through the septum and then pulled together with a screw) have also been available for many years. The nose ring may seem cruel to those not used to it, but it is no worse than having your ears pierced, and in some cases, it is the only way that bull can be kept alive.

Apart from the first few days after installing a permanent nose ring, they are not that bad actually for the bull. Just like a human thats wearing an earring, piercing, or yes, a nose ring, the bull will forget that its even there . Bulls are smart animals, and some of them would rather quickly figure out that they were fitted with a clip-on nose ring.

Now, I wouldnt want to be on the receiving end of an aggressive bull that you cant control because their nose ring broke. If a vet fits the ring, they can sedate the bull before they pierce the septum with a scalpel or punch. We already know they can be aggressive , and the hazards of bull handling are a significant cause of injury and death for dairy farmers in some parts of the United States, so good bull management and safety practices require caution in handling beef and dairy bulls and use of the nose ring and chain is a recommended precaution for modern farmers.

Most cattle breeders recognize the importance of looking after expensive bulls that are expected to improve herds and profits. Bulls dont hate the red color, and it doesnt make them angry. It is an efficient way to apply self-piercing bull rings onto cattle that do not have their nostrils pierced.

Then nose ring needs to be opened, placed right into the bulls nostrils, clapped down, and held firmly with one hand.

The Select Few

Not all bulls have rings in their noses. Rings are usually only put into a bull’s nose if it is believed that he will be handled often, such as those animals that will be used for breeding purposes or who will be taken to livestock shows.


The rings placed in a bull’s septum are hinged. The bull is given a local anesthetic and then one of two piercing methods is utilised. Either a self-piercing ring is placed into the septum and closed or a sharp piercing nail is used to puncture a hole in the septum and then a ring is placed in the hole.

The Ring

If a bull is going to have a ring in his nose, the procedure to put it there is usually performed when he is from 6 to 12 months old.

What are the rings made of?

ABull rings are usually about 3 to 5 inches (8 to 13 cm) in diameter, depending on the size of the bull.

Are bull nose rings cruel?

The nose ring may seem cruel to those not used to it, but it is no worse than having your ears pierced, and in some cases, it is the only way that bull can be kept alive.Adult bulls may weigh between 500 and 1,000 kg (1,100 and 2,200 lb), and most bulls are capable of aggressive behavior and are dangerous.Without the nose ring, there would be no way some bulls would be safe enough to be around, not only for people but also for other animals.They are, in most cases, installed by a competent person like a veterinarian.