As gentle giants of the pasture, cows are SO much more than just a source of dairy and beef. They’re surprisingly complex creatures with a lot of intriguing quirks and characteristics.
We all know what a cow looks like and most importantly we all know what they’re like. Even if you’ve been living in the city all of your life and you’ve never been to the countryside, chances are that you know a thing or two about cows.
But there are more than a few fun facts out there about cows that even the most well-versed cattle enthusiast has missed out on.
This is why in this article we decided to show you some of the most interesting and unique cow facts we could think of. While you may know some of these, we made sure to make the facts as obscure as possible so that at least one will catch you off-guard.
With all that being said though, let’s stop wasting any more of your time and instead just hop right into the first pick of the day:
- 1. All Cows Originate from Turkey
- 2. Cows Have Best Friends
- 3. Cows Can Smell You From 6-Miles Away
- 4. All Cows Are Female
- 5. There Are Well Over 800 Different Cow Breeds
- 6. Cows Are Excellent Swimmers
- 7. Cows Love to Solve Puzzles
- 8. Cows Can See Almost 360 Degrees Around Them
- 9. Cows Have No Upper Front Teeth
- 10. Cows Chew Eight Hours Per Day
- 11. Cows Spend 10 Hours Every Day Laying Down
- 12. Cows Can Sleep Standing
- 13. Missouri is One of the Top Producers of Beef in the US
- 14. The Adult Wagyu Cow Costs More Than a Brand-New Car
- 15. Their Stomach Holds Up To 50 Gallons of Food
- 16. Cows Are Quite Cold Resistant
- 17. Back in the 1750s, Almost Every Family in the US Had a Cow
- 18. Cows Can’t Survive Off of Grass Alone
- 19. Chick-Fil-A Started Cow Appreciation Day
- 20. Cows Have a Four-Chamber Stomach
- 21. Cows Produce Around 40 Gallons of Saliva Every Day
- 22. Cows Only Sleep Around Four Hours Per Day
- 23. Cows Tend to Hold Grudges
- 24. Cow-Tipping is Impossible!
- 25. Cows Are Considered to be Sacred in the Hindu Culture
- 26. They Are Excellent Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- 27. Cows Can’t See the Color Red
- 28. Around 2,000 Quarter Pound Hamburgers Can Be Made from a Cow’s Ground Beef
- 29. There is a 5% Chance That Cows Can Have Twins
- 30. Cow Cuddling is Now Real Therapy
1. All Cows Originate from Turkey
All domestic cows nowadays are descendants of the ancient wild oxen that were known as the aurochs, and, you guessed it, they all originated from Turkey around 10,500 years ago.
Interestingly enough, the second subspecies to be domesticated was known as the zebu cattle, and it originated in India around 7,000 years ago or so.
It is believed that the wild aurochs went extinct around 1627, but luckily they still managed to pass on their genes to their descendants.
2. Cows Have Best Friends
If you’ve ever been around a cow before then you should know that they are social animals that will always stay around their favorite humans to either comfort them or be comforted by them.
So, if your cow tends to follow you around everywhere and it just constantly asks for head pats then chances are that your cow considers you to be her best friend. But they also have other cow friends and apparently they even panic if you separate them from their friends.
3. Cows Can Smell You From 6-Miles Away
Another fun fact that you should know about is that you physically can’t sneak up on your cow simply because they will literally smell you way before they see you.
They can easily smell you coming from 6 miles away, and they can use this super sense to stray away from predators, locate food and even make their way back to you if they’re lost.
4. All Cows Are Female
This is a bit of a tricky statement, because while it is true, it also means a lot more than you’d think. That’s because when we say all “cows” are female, it’s the same as saying that all hens are females and all drakes are males.
But if all cows are female, then what do we call them before they mature? Well, before having a half, any and all females are referred to as heifers, and after their first born they are technically considered to be cows.
5. There Are Well Over 800 Different Cow Breeds
Not a lot of people realize this, but there are a lot of different cow breeds out there, and for good reason too.
Because of how easily accessible they are and how proficient they are on farms, pretty much every place on Earth has bred their very own cow breed.
This is why today we have around 800 or more cow breeds to choose from, and that’s only amongst the ones that are recognized by their individual federations.
This does work out in your favor though as a buyer, since different breeds were created for different reasons, so you can perfectly find the best breed for you by simply looking for the ones that fit your requirements best.
So, if you’re primarily looking for a good-sized breed that you can butcher later on to get a lot of high-quality meat from, you can always just invest in a beef breed.
At the same time, there are plenty of dairy breeds that are perfect for milk production, or you can just go for a hybrid dual-purpose breed, the choice is yours.
6. Cows Are Excellent Swimmers
Despite how large and slow they are, cows are actually quite formidable swimmers, to the point where they can probably outswim most of us.
This is because their legs are especially powerful after carrying around all of their weight, so it’s no wonder that they can easily swim for a few miles without a care in the world.
There was even a case in which a Netherlands cow managed to swim for a total of 62 miles or 100km to shore during a flood, so you just know that they’re not to be messed with in the water.
7. Cows Love to Solve Puzzles
You may snicker at the thought of your cow sitting down and playing a chess game with you, but you’d definitely be surprised to see just how intelligent and curious they can get.
That’s because cows will often times look through their surroundings a lot to find some way to pass the time.
Thanks to their high intelligence, they will quickly realize how the world works around them and if specifically trained for it, we do believe that cows could even complete the same puzzles that monkeys can with ease.
8. Cows Can See Almost 360 Degrees Around Them
That’s right, cows almost have a full panoramic view of their surroundings. They specifically evolved this trait so that they could survive in the wilderness.
Interestingly enough though, their only real blind spot is right in front of them, which is why they will always turn their head to look at you.
9. Cows Have No Upper Front Teeth
But if cows don’t have front teeth, then how do they eat food?
Well, to put it bluntly, when they chew down on grass, cows will literally push their sharp bottom teeth row into the top palate of their mouth until the food was successfully cut into digestible pieces.
10. Cows Chew Eight Hours Per Day
Most cows have around 32 teeth, give or take, and as soon as they get food in their mouth they will continue to chew down on it for as long as 40-50 times per minute.
Interestingly enough, most cows will move their jaw around 40,000 times per day, which is mostly due to the fact that they can chew for up to eight hours every single day without a care in the world.
11. Cows Spend 10 Hours Every Day Laying Down
This is very interesting to us because even though they do tend to lie down for so long, they also tend to stand up and lie down around fourteen times per day.
12. Cows Can Sleep Standing
Their reasoning behind this is quite simple, there could technically always be a predator right around the corner so they need to be ready to run as fast as possible to save their lives.
If you’ve ever seen a cow getting up then you know what we’re talking about here, as most cows will need as long as a few minutes to properly get up and make their way out to safety.
13. Missouri is One of the Top Producers of Beef in the US
This shouldn’t shock anyone, as Missouri has ranked high among the top here states for quite some time now.
That’s because the economy of the state is closely tied to their beef production. As such, it’s no wonder that Missouri has more beef cows than all of the other states, with the only exception being Texas of course.
14. The Adult Wagyu Cow Costs More Than a Brand-New Car
While most adult cows will cost you around $2,000 or so, there are a few breeds out there that will fetch a much larger price tag.
And if we’re talking about enormous price tags, we can’t forget about the most expensive cow breed in the world, aka the Wagyu cow.
Depending on how large the cow is, you can expect to have to pay around $30,000 to $40,000, which in a lot of cases can be more expensive than a brand-new car.
15. Their Stomach Holds Up To 50 Gallons of Food
That’s basically how the average American feels after Thanksgiving, so it shouldn’t come off as all that surprising.
16. Cows Are Quite Cold Resistant
Not enough people realize this but thanks to their thick skin and short thick coats, most cow breeds can easily make it through bitter cold climates.
17. Back in the 1750s, Almost Every Family in the US Had a Cow
This is interesting to note because back then selling and buying cows wasn’t as popular, so instead everybody would just own their very own cows to have what to eat.
18. Cows Can’t Survive Off of Grass Alone
This is a common misconception that we are just downright sick of hearing people mention. Yes, cows can live off of grass alone for a while, but before long they will also require several other minerals and nutrients that can’t be found in the grass.
This is why you will also need to provide them with water, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and of course, protein too.
19. Chick-Fil-A Started Cow Appreciation Day
The year is 2005, and Chick-Fil-A just came up with one of the most endearing and beautiful traditions that we’ve ever heard of.
They were the ones to first think of the Cow Celebration Day, and after successfully advertising it to the rest of the world, it became a staple of most households around the US.
20. Cows Have a Four-Chamber Stomach
The first three chambers are primarily used for digestion, as the cow pretty much breaks the food down so that it can be absorbed into the body.
The first of these chambers is known as the rumen and it is where the cow’s food first gathers up before being transported into the other two chambers.
The last of them is called the abomasum chamber and it is where the now broken up pieces are absorbed into the body.
21. Cows Produce Around 40 Gallons of Saliva Every Day
If you’ve ever seen your cow just simply slobbering all over the place, don’t worry because they tend to do that a lot more than you’d think.
In fact, most cows can easily produce as many as 20 gallons of saliva every day, with that number going as high up as 40 gallons if the cow’s digestive system needs to be a bit more lubricated.
22. Cows Only Sleep Around Four Hours Per Day
Even though cows tend to spend most of the day lying down, they only really need to sleep around four hours per day to be fully refreshed.
If your cow tends to sleep longer than five hours per day though you may want to contact a veterinarian because this could be a sign of excessive fatigue.
23. Cows Tend to Hold Grudges
Cows love their besties and they absolutely despise their haters! All jokes aside, cows can easily remember past incidents which does include any moment in which you may have mistreated them.
In a study that was conducted at the Bristol University they discovered the fact that cows will remember someone that had mistreated them many years ago, as they had a negative emotional response when they saw them heading their way.
24. Cow-Tipping is Impossible!
Even though a lot of people swear by this, we can safely say that it’s definitely not a real thing simply because tipping a cow would require an exertion of 2,910 newtons of force at the very least.
You would need to be the lost child of Brian Shaw and Eddie Hall in order to do something like that, so even though there are so many different testaments of people swearing by the fact that they did it, it just isn’t possible physically speaking.
25. Cows Are Considered to be Sacred in the Hindu Culture
Not only are they considered to be sacred, but hurting cows in the Hindu culture is prohibited by the law.
If you happen to lay your hands on a cow in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh for example you could easily be facing off with as many as seven years in prison.
So keep that in mind the next time you visit your Indian friends, because for as funny as it can be to slap a cow on its bare bum, you may be getting yourself in trouble in doing so.
26. They Are Excellent Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Because of how proficient cows are at digesting food, it’s no wonder that they can produce a lot of methane every day.
In fact, it is believed that most cows can produce anywhere between 250 to 500 liters of gas on a daily basis, making them one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the world.
27. Cows Can’t See the Color Red
Most people believe that bulls charge when they see red, but that’s actually just a myth that was disproven many years ago.
The reason as to why that is impossible is because cows are colorblind when it comes to certain colors, including any and all red hues.
In case you’re still wondering why the bulls charge at the red capes though, they see motion and they charge at it, simple as that.
28. Around 2,000 Quarter Pound Hamburgers Can Be Made from a Cow’s Ground Beef
There isn’t a lot we can say here, it’s just fascinating to think that so much product can be made from a single cow.
29. There is a 5% Chance That Cows Can Have Twins
Has your cow ever had twins? No? Well fret not because there is always a 5% chance that your cow will start doubling its baby production.
Those odds are a lot lower than they are for most other animals out there, and for good reason too as in most cases, twin pregnancies are very dangerous and they have a high-risk factor attached to them.
30. Cow Cuddling is Now Real Therapy
You may have heard of dog and cat therapy sessions, well guess what, cow therapy is also a thing now. For around $75 an hour, you can spend your free time cuddling a big lump of fluffiness to forget about all of your worries.
Cows really are some of the most interesting creatures we’ll ever lay our eyes on, aren’t they? The fact of the matter is that no matter who you are and no matter how much experience you have with raising cattle, you will never run out of fun facts when it comes to them.
But regardless, we hope that this article was helpful enough for you and we sincerely wish you good luck if you’re just now getting into cow raising. It can seem tough at times but it is well worth it at the end of the day.