Cows are interesting creatures. Not quite like the horses I so loved growing up, but fun never-the-less.
My mom was surprised when I purchased cows, as she remembers me having a distinct dislike of them. It was probably less of a dislike and more that they simply weren’t my beloved horses.
I certainly enjoyed researching this one, and I even learned a few things myself.
The more I dug, the more I found, including a couple of sad facts regarding where a surprising number of American adults believe that their food comes from.
Check out the list of interesting facts that I came up with and see how much your really know about cows!
- Girl cows can have horns. I hear comments all the time about how all of my cows, boys and girls, have horns. People are surprised to find that it is not just bulls that have horns. Horns are not specific to the sex of cattle. They are a genetic trait – some breeds are all horned and others are all polled (meaning the animal has not got horns). There are a few breeds that are both horned and polled, such as our own Red Devons.
- You are more likely to get attacked by a cow than a shark. I totally believe this one. In fact, cows kill more than 20 people in the US each year! The only animals that top that are dogs and and stinging insects such as bees, wasps and hornets!
- Cattle have almost 360° panoramic vision. This helps them to see predators coming from any direction. It is hard to sneak up on them.
- Cows can sleep standing up.
- Cows spend about 8 hours a day eating.
- A cow cannot vomit.
- Each cow drinks about a bathtub full of water each day. That’s about 35 gallons.
- Cows cannot bite. They do not have teeth in the top of the front part of their mouths. Cows wrap their tongues around the grass and then pull it against the bottom row of teeth to tear it off.
- The oldest cow recorded to date was Big Bertha, a Dremon. She died just 3 months shy of her 49th birthday.
- The word “cow” actually refers only to females. The males are bulls, or if castrated, steers.
- A cow is called a heifer until she has had her first baby. Heifers are the worst behaved of my own cows and I believe this is how it came to be an insult to call someone a heifer! Even the young bulls are easier to deal with!
- Cows have a very good sense of smell and are able to detect odors from about 6 miles away.
- According to a survey commissioned by the Innovation Center of U.S. Dairy, a whopping 7% of American adults believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows. Wow. Just WOW! Cows don’t make chocolate…
- Another survey, this time commissioned by the Department of Agriculture in the early 90’s, showed that 1 in 5 adults had no idea that hamburgers were made from beef.
While some of those facts are indeed amusing, others are disturbing. The fact that so many adults have no idea where their food comes from is outrageous. This makes them easy prey for companies pushing processed food.
I guess this lack of knowledge about the origin of our food should not surprise me, as fewer people than ever before are involved in food processing and preparation.