Welcome to some facts about a creature that many take for granted. Cows like to sleep close to their families, and sleeping arrangements are determined by individuals’ rank in the social hierarchy.
- Type: Mammal
- Diet: Herbivore
- Lifespan: 20-25 years
- Size: Varies with breed however average is around 1.4m high
- Weight: Average 750 kg
- Habitat: Various including rain forests, wetlands, prairies, savannas and temperate forests
- Range: Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and North America
- Scientific name: Bos
Amazing Facts About the Cow
- Like humans, cows (cattle) form close friendships and choose to spend much of their time with 2-4 preferred individuals. They also hold grudges for years and may dislike particular individuals.
- Cows display emotions and have been shown to produce more milk when they are treated better and as individuals.
- Cattle get excited when they solve problems. When faced with the challenge of trying find out how to open a door to reach food, their heartbeats went up, their brainwaves showed excitement, and some even jumped into the air.
- Cows show their excitement when let out into a field after long periods confined indoors.
- Cattle like to sleep close to their families, and sleeping arrangements are determined by individuals’ rank in the social hierarchy.
- Cows are devotional mothers and are known to walk for miles to find their calves.
- Cattle are extremely curious and inquisitive animals which will investigate everything.
- Like many other grazing animals cattle have one stomach which is divided into four compartments or chambers: the rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomasum. This allows them to digest grain and grasses most effectively.
- Cattle have almost 360° panoramic vision. This helps them to see predators coming from any direction.
- Cattle have an excellent sense of smell. They can detect odours up to five miles away. They can also hear both low and high frequency sounds beyond human capability.
- The cow is a protected animal in Hinduism, and Hindus do not eat beef. Cows are honoured at least once a year, on Gopastami. On this day cows are washed and decorated in temples.
- Mahatma Ghandi described a cow as “a poem of compassion”, also stating that “I worship the cow and I shall defend its worship against the whole world”.
- The meat of cows is widely eaten by people across the world. Cows’ milk is also drunk and used to make other products such as cheese and butter. Many people who consume animal products would like to choose products from animals kept in higher welfare systems. The majority of cows farmed across the world are reared in intensive farming systems which can cause them to suffer greatly.
Clancy's comment: I've owned some of these, and spent a lot of time with them since I was a kid. They serve a good purpose and do their job well. But, they sure can eat!