Have I mentioned that I grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin? No? Well, I did. 😉 I was surrounded by cows way too early in the morning and then again at the end of the day. The cows were entrusted to us from the time they were born—yes, I helped a momma cow give birth more than once—to the time they met their demise. Unfortunately, some sooner than others, just like us humans.
One would think there’d be little a farm kid wouldn’t know about these docile creatures that seemingly spend their lives doing little more than eating grass, chewing cud, and mooing at passersby. Right? Well, this farm kid either didn’t listen when the cows shared their secrets, or she forgot everything they told her. I say this because I dug up a few fascinating facts that I never knew about the queens of Dairy Month.
Cow did-you-know facts:
- No two Holstein cows are the same. Holsteins are the black and white cows that I grew up with. I never put much thought into it, but I found out that the pattern on their hides is unique to each cow—much like the snowflakes that surrounded us all winter long on the farm.
- Cows have cliques. If you thought that cows didn’t care who munched the grass next to them, you’d be wrong. Cows develop relationships with other cows, and they have preferences for who they spend their time with.
- If your bedroom is on the second floor, never invite a cow to see your latest Rick Springfield poster. Why? Because she won’t be able to get back down. Her knees can’t bend in the way they need to in order to go down a flight of stairs (a ramp is completely different). Phew! Thank goodness I always took my Rick posters to the barn for them to admire. I can’t imagine explaining that one to my dad.
- There are more than 800 different breeds of cows. From domesticated to feral breeds, cows roam all corners of the world, spreading their big-snouted joy around. Speaking of their big snouts…
- You can’t hide from a cow. Cows can smell you coming from six miles away. I had no idea they had such astute sniffers.
There you have it, everything you never knew about cows—or maybe everything you knew and forgot. There’s a herd (pun intended) more factoids out there to be discovered, so don’t be shy about your fascination with these critters. They’re more than worthy of your admiration.
What’s your favorite did-you-know fact about cows?