Cows, Farm

8 Fun Facts About Cows



Cows: You know them, you love them. But what makes a cow a cow? Read these 8 cow facts to learn more about these sensitive, sweet animals.

8 Interesting Cow Facts You Might Not Know

Cows are one of the most common mammals in the world. But what do you really know about cows? Here are eight things you may not know about one of our favorite domesticated animals.

1. Cows Use Their Eyes to Express Emotion…

Have you ever made eye contact with a cow? If you have, you may know how they’re feeling. Our 2015 study shows that a cow’s eyes reveal how they feel. For instance, an increase in the whites of a cow’s eyes can be seen when they’re feeling scared or frustrated, while a decrease in the whites of a cow’s eyes occurs when they’re relaxed.

2. … And Their Ears!

What about the ears? Like sheep and pigs, the position of a cow’s ears can indicate how they are feeling. The usual position of a cow’s ears is upright or forwards, but a cow who is feeling calm and at ease will display ears in a backward or hanging posture.

3. Cows Like Physical Connection

Cows’ ears going into a backward or hanging position when being pet shows that they love to be pet, and cows engage in physical connection with each other, too. Cows participate in cow licking--research has shown that cows who received licks from other cows had lower heart rates, implying relaxation. Cow licking is also thought to be a bonding mechanism.


4. Cows Have BFFs, Too

Just like humans, cows have best friends. Not only does companionship make cows happier, it also makes them smarter. A 2014 study showed that young calves who lived alone did not perform as well on cognitive tests as cows who lived with another cow.

5. Their Favorite Pastime Is… Chewing

Cows spend up to 40% of their time chewing cud. That’s a lot of time spent eating!

6. Cows Have a Great Sense of Smell

It’s all in the nose: cows have an excellent sense of smell, and can smell things up to six miles away.

7. Cows Are Colorblind

Cows can’t see the color red. Not only is bullfighting cruel, it also is ironic considering the color of the cape used in the practice.

8. Cows Are in the Clean Plate Club

The average dairy cow eats 100 pounds of food a day. Maybe that’s why they spend so much time chewing!

Cows are sweet, sensitive individuals who deserve kindness and respect. You can help treat cows better by cutting down your meat and dairy consumption and urging your legislators to support the Farm System Reform Act, which would put an end to factory farming. Learn more about farmed animals and stay up to date with new content and animal welfare actions by signing up for our newsletter today.

Act Now

More about