When you pass a farm or see a cow in a pasture, you probably don’t think much about them. You think about how they provide us with milk and sometimes beef. However, there is more to these creatures than meets the eye. Check out these four dairy cow facts that you probably didn’t know!
Cows Are Very Social Animals
Cows are very social animals and have best friends just like humans do! Cows form close bonds with other cows and become stressed when separated from their friends.
These social creatures even mourn the loss of a friend. When a cow is sold or dies, the remaining cows in the herd will lay low for days after and often avoid the area where their friend used to stand. Most dairy farms keep cows in small groups so that they can form these close bonds. You’ll often see dairy cows grazing together in a pasture or standing close to each other in a barn.
Cows Have Great Memories
Not only are cows social animals, but they also have great memories. Cows can remember the faces and names of other cows for years and will often greet cows they haven’t seen in a long time with excitement. Researchers have even found that cows react more positively to the voices of people they know.
Cows also have a great sense of direction and can find their way home from miles away. There are many stories of dairy cows who have escaped from farms only to find their way back days later.
Cows Are Herbivores
Despite popular belief, cows are not carnivorous animals. Cows are complete herbivores and have no need for meat in their diet. Cows are able to break down vegetation and convert it into energy and nutrients by digesting it in their four-chamber stomachs.
Cows eat mostly grass, but they can also eat hay, grain, and high-quality silage, so long as it has been stored in a safe manner. A cow can eat up to 50 pounds of food daily and consume up to 12 gallons of water.
Not only do cows eat a lot, but they also spend most of their time eating. Cows can spend up to eight hours daily eating and ruminating, chewing their food, and breaking it down in their four-chamber stomachs.
Cows Are Intelligent Animals
Despite their large size, cows are very intelligent animals. Cows can solve complex problems and even open gates and fences to let other cows out of a pasture. You’ll see this happen on farms when one cow gets out, and the rest of the herd follows.
Cows also have a great sense of self-preservation and will often remember events that caused them pain or fear in the past. They can even hold grudges against other cows and humans who have wronged them in the past.
These are just a few of the many interesting facts about cows. Not only do they provide us with milk and beef, but they are also social creatures with great memories. So, the next time you see a cow, take a moment to appreciate them for all they are!