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What You May Not Know About Cows

by | Jul 11, 2019 | Cows

Cows come in all colors, give milk, meat and sometimes are seen as family members.  We use their milk to drink and to make ice cream to name just a few food items that come from cows.  But there is much more to this animal than meets the eye.

It’s common knowledge that a dog’s sense of smell is much greater than a human’s.  Well, cows have a great sense of smell too and can smell something that is up to 6 miles away.  Their super power sniffers come in handy in helping them to detect imminent danger.  That isn’t their only heightened sense, though.

Cows also have almost 360* panoramic vision with their only blind spots being what is right in front of them and also behind them.  So, don’t think you can sneak up on them in order to have a little fun tipping them.

Speaking of which, cow tipping is the ultimate urban myth but, it is just a myth.  In order to tip a cow, it would take almost 5 people working together exerting 2,910 newtons of force.  Also, cows do NOT sleep standing up like horses do.  So, even if you wanted to try your hand at cow tipping, which I am not advocating you try, sneaking up on them while they are asleep to try to tip them would be utterly useless as cows do not sleep standing up like horses do.  They lie down to sleep and sleep just 4 hours a day.  Even while awake, cows still spend between 10 to 12 hours a day lying down.

Although cows are gifted with panoramic vision, they cannot see the color red.  Contrary to the myth of bulls being drawn to the red cape in bullfighting because of the color, it just isn’t so.  The matador waving the red cape in front of the bull, which is a male steer, gets the bull’s attention because of the fluttering of the cape, and not the color per Vet Street.

Cows also have a great sense of direction.  Per Mother Nature Network, a German study found that regardless of the wind’s direction or the sun’s position, cows will tend to either face magnetic north or south while they graze.  This study’s author also stated that magnetic compass orientation has been studied a little in other mammals and they still don’t really know why cows do this.

These divine bovine’s are also quite social animals and do not like to be alone.  Per Vet Street, a cow that is away from her herd and by herself is a good indication that she is either not feeling well or she’s about to give birth.  As social animals, cows like to hang out with their favorite cow friend’s in their herd.  They will become stressed if they are separated from their favorite pals.  A cow’s heart rate and cortisol levels have been found to rise if cows are isolated from their friends per Green Gourmet.  Once they are back with their buddies, a cow’s stress levels were reduced compared to if they were partnered with another random cow.

Milk plays a large factor in the life of a cow.  The average cow produces 70lbs of milk, or 8 gallons per day.  It takes about 350 udder squirts to produce each individual gallon of milk.  In order to make all of that milk, the average cow will drink 30 to 50 gallons of water every day.  All of this water goes towards the production of milk, but it also causes the cow to produce 125 lbs of saliva a day.  All of this saliva comes in handy for breaking down all of the feed they need to eat each day to make all of that milk.  A cow that is milking will consume around 100 lbs of feed every day.  If you want your cow to make even more milk, up to 500 more pints each year, give your cow a name.  Per the Green Gourmet, researchers have found that naming your cow and treating her as an individual enabled this cow to produce more milk than a cow that was not named and not treated as an individual.

Cows are much more than just milk factories.  They have fantastic senses from vision to smell and they also are quite sociable and like to be with their friends.  Being with their friends as well as having their own name is beneficial in the milk making process.  So, the next time you’re enjoying that ice cold glass of milk, hopefully, thanks to this post, you may see beyond the liquid in the glass to the cow’s role in making your milk.  Cows- make the milk that does a body good.

 

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