Metal rings on bulls are typically inserted into the nasal septum to control a bull. It's a practice dating back to the dawn of recorded civilization. Known for fiery tempers, these powerful animals can be unpredictable and can pose a threat to handlers -- bull handling is a leading cause of injury or death for U.S. dairy farmers. Yet these 1,200 to 2,200-pound muscular animals tend to be compliant when led by a ring or a rope looped around the ring which is pierced through sensitive nasal tissue. A ring is often installed by a veterinarian using local anesthesia when a bull is about nine to twelve months of age.
(photographs taken at Fearrington Village in Pittsboro)