40 interesting cow facts you probably were not aware of

40 interesting cow facts you probably were not aware of

Cow facts can reveal a lot more about cattle than you ever knew. The animals might seem simple and docile, yet there are plenty of things to learn about them that will surprise you. Here is all you need to know about one of the most domesticated animals.

Cow facts
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Commonly known as cattle, their scientific name is Bos Taurus. Cows are reared in all parts of the world and used as a source of milk and meat for subsistence and commercial. Besides their economic value, there are many things to learn from them. These cow facts will enrich your knowledge about them.

Interesting cow facts you should know

Lots have been said about cattle, and while some are true, a significant majority are misconceptions. These are some surprising facts about cows you ought to know.

Facts about cows
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  • Are bulls cows? The word cow is usually confused to mean male and female cattle. However, a cow refers to a female cattle, while a male one is a bull.
  • There are over 250 cattle breeds. Certain cattle breeds are suitable for particular environments; thus, the 250 breeds are in different parts of the world. The most popular cattle breeds are Holstein Friesian and Limousin cattle.
  • Cows are herbivorous animals, feeding on plants only, especially grass and grains. Their digestion system is well suited for green matter only.
  • An adult cow has 32 teeth. However, they do not have teeth on the front upper jaw, and the space on the jaw is called a horny pad.
  • Dairy cows contribute 90% of total milk production worldwide. How much milk does a cow produce? A single high-yielding dairy cow can produce up to 60 litres of milk daily.
  • Contrary to the belief that a cow has four stomachs, it has one stomach with four chambers, a characteristic of ruminants. The chambers are the rumen, the reticulum, the omasum, and the abomasum.
  • The Chianina is the heaviest and tallest breed. The breed grows up to 5 feet 5 inches and weighs approximately 1500 kilograms (3300 pounds).
  • A dairy cow consumes up to 45 kilograms (100 pounds) of food per day. The high feed intake is due to its production needs and is higher than the quantity of food a bull consumes.
  • A cow’s temperature is between 37 and 39 degrees Celsius. A drop or rise in body temperature indicates something abnormal, such as disease.
  • Raring cows was thought to be impossible in Antarctica due to the harsh climate in the region. This changed when three Guernsey cows, Klondike Gay Nira, Deerfoot Guernsey Maid and Foremost Southern Girl, spent more than a year in the region.

Facts about cow behaviour

Despite the multiple cow breeds available, they tend to have common behaviour. Below are some facts that will surprise you about a cow’s behaviour.

Are cows friendly
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  • Cows are always chewing because they regurgitate earlier swallowed food. When they are not feeding, they relax while chewing cud. They spend about eight hours each day chewing cud.
  • Cow pregnancies last approximately 283 days. Therefore, a cow can only have a single calf every year. Additionally, some cows give birth to twin calves but in rare circumstances.
  • The average time a cow spends lying down is ten hours daily. Interestingly, they can have a nap while standing.
  • Ever wonder why a toreador waves a red cloth to a bull? Cattle can easily recognise anything colourful and respond appropriately.
  • A calf's skin colour and texture will gradually change as it grows. Most adult cows’ skins differed from their skins when they were born.
  • Cows have eyes on the sides of their heads and can have a vision of almost 360 degrees of their surrounding. Therefore, a cow can see anything around them without turning its head.
  • Unlike humans, cows do not need training to swim. They instinctively learn swimming and adult cows can swim long distances.
  • Cows have about 1,071 olfactory receptors making them have a better sense of smell than most animals. They can pick scents as far as 6 miles away.
  • Due to their knee anatomy, cows cannot climb down a staircase. However, they can comfortably walk upstairs.
  • Cows moo to communicate different emotions, such as distress or when they recognise a person. However, you may also see tears flowing from their eyes, which may not necessarily mean they are sad.
  • Are cows colourblind? They are dichromatic animals and thus can only see colour variations, blue and yellow. Their retinas do not have red receptors.

Cow facts for kids

Children’s curiosity will make them want to know everything around them. Since cows are one of the animals they will most likely encounter in their lifetime and perhaps interact with, these facts will help them understand cows better.

Cow facts for kids
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  • Cows are proven to have regional accents. This means that cows from different areas will have different moos.
  • A dairy cow can secrete up to 50 litres of saliva every day. The saliva secretion is determined by the type of feed it consumes. Saliva is also important for moistening the feed and aiding in digestion.
  • Do cows have best friends? Like humans, cows are friendly and love company. They feel happy living in a group, and isolation makes them lonely. Besides being friends among themselves, they also relate well with other domestic animals and humans.
  • In a day, a cow can move its jaws approximately 40 thousand times while chewing.
  • While grazing, cows are continuously moving around. The total distance covered by a cow per day is about 13 kilometres.
  • Cows are heavy drinkers, especially dairy cattle. What do cows drink? A cow can drink up to 100 litres of water per day. Calves drink milk for up to eight weeks, while adult cows drink only water.
  • Cows are highly sensitive to sound. They can easily adjust their ears to pick up sounds.
  • Cows do not require much sleep, and 30 minutes of deep sleep while lying down is enough. Do cows sleep standing up? They take short naps while standing.
  • Only cows that have given birth produce milk. Their milk production cycle lasts about ten months.
  • Instead of biting grass, a cow rounds grass with its tongue and pulls it, thus cutting it.

Fascinating facts about cows

Some cow facts are unimaginable and unbelievable, since they seem to be simple creatures you often see around. You probably did not know the cow facts below.

What do cows drink
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  • There are more than a billion cattle worldwide. A significant proportion, over 300 million heads, are in India.
  • How long does a cow live? A cow’s average lifespan is 20 years. In commercial setups where production is key, a cow is culled after about six years.
  • In some parts of the world, hugging a cow is considered therapeutic. Hugging or cuddling increases positivity and eliminates stress.
  • Hindus consider cows sacred. They are a symbol of wealth, strength, and abundance. For that reason, Hindus do not consume beef but may eat meat from other animals.
  • Besides meat and milk, cows have multiple useful by-products. For instance, bones, hides, hooves, horns, blood, and selected internal organs can be put to various uses.
  • The disease of Bovine spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease, is fatal. It is an untreatable disease which degenerates a cow’s brain causing symptoms such as unusual behaviour and rapid weight loss.
  • A cow’s milk is rich in nutrients. It is sometimes recommended for people with certain bone illnesses due to its high contents of calcium, phosphorous, and potassium.
  • Almarai in Saudi Arabia is the world’s leading milk producer, with approximately 1.47 million tonnes per year. The firm has more than 100 thousand dairy cattle.
  • Cows have better sight at night than humans. Their eyes can utilise low light emitted from the moon or stars to see around them.
  • The dung is not waste since it is used for farm manure and biogas production. A cow can produce approximately 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of dung per day.
  • Do cows have fur? The hair on a cow’s skin is not fur but is sometimes called hide.

The above cow facts will enrich your knowledge about cattle and not fall for the widely peddled misconceptions. Did you find the facts interesting? Why not share them with your loved ones to help them learn about cows?

READ ALSO: 43 trippy Cheshire Cat quotes from books, movies and video games

Legit.ng published an article about trippy Cheshire Cat quotes. Cheshire Cat is a fictitious cat character created by Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland. He was notable for his erratic behaviour, witty demeanour, and a wide grin.

Whether reading the book or watching a film, The Cheshire Cat is always entertaining. Nowadays, you can share numerous trippy Cheshire Cat quotes from books, movies and video games with your loved ones and have fun.

Source: Legit.ng

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