dairy cows

10 Captivating Facts About Dairy Cows

Where would we be without dairy cows? These wonderful creatures help to feed millions of people all over the world, each and every day. As their names suggest, we rely on these farmyard animals to provide milk and dairy to help create produce such as cheese and butter. But how much do you personally know about our farm friends? Here are some fun facts about dairy cows you’ll want to remember.

1. They’re not small!

If you’ve ever seen a dairy cow in real life, then you’ll know that they’re pretty big animals! Although they can vary in size, generally speaking, they weigh about 1,500 lbs. Some are even found to weigh up to 1800 lbs – that’s a lot of milk.

2. They have big appetites, too.

To produce milk, dairy cows need to consume about 50 kg of food daily! That includes grass, hay, grains, pulps and seeds – meaning farmers really do need to stock up on the crops to keep the herd well-fed.

3. We have dairy cows in the millions!

There were a reported 9.4 million milk cows chewing the cud right here in the US in 2022! And, with the amount of milk we consume, that should come as no surprise.

fun facts about cows

4. You might underestimate just how much milk these cows can produce.

During a period of around ten months, a healthy dairy milk cow can produce up to around 50 pints of milk every day! Now that is a lot of cereal bowls to cater to.

5. Sniffer cows? Believe it!

Believe it or not, cows actually have an incredible sense of smell! It is believed that they can pick up scents up to six miles away – that puts us in our place.

6. Field of grass, field of vision!

Although their depth perception isn’t too great, cows have incredible sight! It is believed that they can see between 300 and 360-degree panoramas. It’s not just pigeons that can be in front and behind them at the same time.

7. Cows have BFFs… no, really.

As you have probably noticed, cows are rarely kept alone. They are herd animals and are indeed very social. In fact, cows are known even to have best friends that they recognize and love.

 8. They are thick-skinned.

You’ll never see a cow with a coat on in the winter, and that’s with good reason! They have particularly thick skins and so can easily adapt to the cold. However, they tend to get pretty hot in the summer and often need help cooling down.

facts about dairy cows

 9. They are big chewers!

Most cows are generally seen nibbling, and they do like to eat! In fact, they chew on average about 50 times per minute! This means that they have very active and, indeed, pretty strong jaws.

10. Can music help with milk?

Dairy farmers are always looking for ways to make their dairy cows produce more milk. And some of them swear by classical music! They believe that allowing their cows to listen to classical music helps them to produce more milk.

facts about cows

FAQs about Dairy Cows

Which cows are dairy cows?

Although dairy cows are often only considered to be black and white, there are indeed other breeds. Some of the most common dairy cow breeds include Brown Swiss, Ayrshire, Holstein, Guernsey, Jersey, Milking Shorthorn, and Red and White cows!

Can any cow be a dairy cow?

All cows produce milk for their young. However, humans do not consume the milk from all breeds - in fact, we only consume milk from about seven different breeds here in the US.

Do dairy cows have to get pregnant?

Although we tend to think of cows as just constantly producing milk, that’s not the way that it works. Cows are like humans in that they need to be pregnant in order to produce milk. That is why dairy cows are often pregnant every year in order to keep being able to produce milk. This factor has led to some controversy, particularly in the vegan community, where many believe forced gestation to be inhumane.

Further reading:
https://factcity.com/tag/farm-animals/
https://www.ciwf.org.uk/farm-animals/cows/dairy-cows/
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/from-two-bulls-nine-million-dairy-cows/

Do you know any fun facts about dairy cows? Share them in the comments below!

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This page was last modified on June 18, 2024. Suggest an edit

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