Through a focus on agricultural retirement, this paper extends on the recent work considering human–livestock relations. Drawing on research conducted in Hampshire and West Sussex (UK), the paper utilises farmers’ narratives of farm work and retirement to explore the themes of [dis]connection between farmers and their dairy cattle. The paper attempts to add complexity and nuance to assumptions about the nature and extent of animal objectification with commercial dairy farming, and consider the intricate moral geographies [re]created within the individual farm. The discursive and material ‘placings’ of animals are considered alongside an exploration of how the intricate temporality and spatiality of these are disturbed and disrupted by the move to retirement. In discussing these relations the paper examines how animals are central to the everyday lives and identities of farmers and how separation from them alters farmers’ attachment to particular practices, places and social networks.