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Amazing Cow Facts for Kids
What is a Cow?
A cow is a mammal. It is one of the most common domesticated animals in the world. A domesticated animal is an animal that was not born or living in the wild. They are kept on farms or as pets.
Did you know that there are no male cows? It’s true! The male species are called bulls or steer. A female is a cow but only after she has given birth to a calf. A calf is a baby cow. Before a cow has given birth she is referred to as a heifer. The species are also referred to as cattle. There are over 1,000 different breeds of cattle!
Where do Cows Live?
Can you believe that there are over 1 billion cows that live all over the world! Cows live on every continent except Antarctica.
What do Cows Look Like?
Cows have a head with two eyes, a nose, and a mouth. They have two ears and four legs. They have large bodies. When most of us think about cows we picture a large animal with a white body and black spots. Not all cows are black and white. Cows can be all white or all black. Some cows are brown and others can be a yellowish or orange color.
What do Cows Eat?
Cows are herbivores meaning they do not eat meat. Cows have 32 teeth. They used their teeth to eat 50 pounds of food each day! Cows eat grasses, plants, corn, grains, hay, and lettuce. Cows also drink a lot of water. They drink up to 35 gallons of water every day.
An adult cow can weigh between 400-1,600 pounds!
Cows Make Friends!
Cows are very social and emotional animals. They like to interact with other cows. They even become friends with other cows.
Did you know that cows also can hold a grudge? They will often stay mad at another cow who they felt were mean to them or treated them badly.
Cows communicate with other cows by saying moo. Cows will use different tones in their voices when communicating. If they are trying to call their calf (baby) they often will have a soft tone. When they are upset the tone will be loud.
A male is called a bull. A female who has given birth is called a cow. A female who has not given birth is called a heifer. A cow is pregnant for nine months, just like people. A baby cow is called a calf. A calf is about 90 pounds when it is born.
Cows are Sacred
In India where they practice the Hindu religion cows are sacred and are allowed to roam the streets free. They see cows as a maternal figure or a caretaker.
They believe If a mother cannot produce milk for their newborn baby, milk from a cow would be the next best thing. Cows are also worshiped and celebrated during many different festivals throughout India. Around 300 million cows live in India!
More Fun Facts about Cows
They are smart and intelligent animals.
Cows live up to 25 years.
They can run 35 miles per hour.
In deep mud, cows can run faster than horses!
A cow has one stomach with four compartments. The rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum. Cow are ruminates meaning they can digest the food that can normally not be digested.
Like a human’s fingerprints, no two cow’s spots are exactly the same.
Cows have an excellent sense of smell. They can smell up to 5 miles away!
Beef and milk come from cows.
Veal comes from calves.
Cows and Milk
We get our milk from dairy cows. In the U.S dairy cows are bred to produce milk.
Cows do not produce milk until after they have given birth.
We make most dairy products such as butter, cream, ice cream, and cheese from the milk we get from cows.
Did you know that it takes 350 squirts from a cow to get one gallon of milk!
A cow can produce 6 gallons of milk a day!
Each dairy cow produces 200,000 cups of milk in her lifetime.
Dairy cows produced milk for approximately three years. After they can no longer produce milk, they are often killed and used for meat.
The glass milk bottle was invented in 1884. The plastic milk bottle started being used in the US in 1967.
Home delivery of milk started in 1942.
21 billion gallons of milk are produced in American every year. The average American drinks 25 gallons of milk a year.
Did you know that drinking milk about you eat something spicy will help cool the burning sensation in your mouth? So, the next time your mouth is burning from spicy food, drink milk!
The state of California produces the most milk in the US, Wisconsin is number 2.
Farmers actually measure milk in pounds not gallons.
Milk can be good for you. It has a lot of nutrients including protein, calcium, vitamin D, B12, and potassium. Milk also supports healthy bones and teeth.
Fun Facts About Cows
Cows can go upstairs but cannot walk down.
Until the 1850’s most American families owned their own cows.
Cows first came to America with pilgrims. They arrived in the colony of Jamestown in 1611.