Refers to thousands of cases in North America where cattle have been found mutilated under abnormal circumstances. Marked with fluorescent paint, drained of blood, cows have been found dead, with the cause of death unknown. These cattle have laser cuts and certain organs surgically removed from their bodies, often their reproductive and rectal organs. Not only will scavengers not touch the carcasses but abnormally high radiation levels have been found around these areas as well, with zero traces of footprints, but clamp marks suggesting the cattle were taken from habitats to be mutilated.
The killing and maiming of cattle, under unusual circumstances. Investigation of cattle mutilation asserts that it is a genuine practice attributed mostly to predators, natural decomposition, extraterrestrials, secretive governmental or military agencies, and cults. Skeptics claim that the "mutilations" are a misrepresented natural processes. One example of how cattle mutilation can occur was shown through an experiment done by the Washington County (Arkansas) Sheriff's Department. They found that when a dead cow was placed in a field for 48 hours that bloating, caused by the sun, led to incision-like tears in the skin and that blowflies and maggots then cleaned out the soft tissue so that the carcass looked exactly like those that had been attributed to satanic cults.
After cruising the web to find a new hunt, Dean tells Sam about "a fishing trawler found off the coast of Cali" where the crew had vanished, and some cattle mutilations in West Texas.
John notes that in the days before the fires caused by Azazel, signs and omens appear such as cattle deaths, temperature fluctuations, and electrical storms. This occurred in Lawrence, Kansas, a week before Mary died, in Palo Alto, California, before Brady killed Jessica, and have been appearing throughout the country over the past year. The latest occurrence is in Salvation, Iowa, as Azazel visits Rose Holt in her crib.
While posing as reporters to gain info on recent deaths, Sam and Dean question the local sheriff in Red Lodge, Montana, about cattle mutilations. Sam and Dean bring up the idea of it being done in a ritualistic manner, which only elicits a laugh from the sheriff. He goes on to tell them that the only reason the cows seem to have been "mutilated" is that they're dying and their bodies are laying out in the sun, which causes them to bloat and eventually explode.
Bobby noted that demonic omens like cattle deaths and lightning storms cropped up throughout the Midwest Region except for a 100 square-mile region in southern Wyoming. They later discover this is due to a massive Devil's Trap built by Samuel Colt with iron railway lines. He commissioned the construction of the devil's trap to keep demons from reaching the Devil's Gate in Fossil Butte Cemetery.
Abaddon's presence caused lightning strikes and cattle deaths within three miles of where she appeared, luring Sam and Dean to investigate.
When Sam questions why Dean took him to Missouri, he asks if it was due to a series of cattle deaths a few towns over, but Dean says the article explains that it's possibly caused by the drought.
Wally: Yes, I did. Look, guys. This is all new to me, all right? You got a rugaru problem, hey, I’m your guy. But demons? Hell. Look, I was just passing through and I heard about some cattle mutilations.
Sam: Classic demon sign.