Cow Facts for Kids

Amazing Cow Facts for Kids with Free Printables

Hey Kids!  Do you want to learn amazing cow facts just for kids?  Then look no further; in this article, you will learn about where cows live, what they eat, and how they make friends.  Keep reading to find out amazing cow facts for kids!

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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.

A group of cows together are called cattle.

Did you know that there are no male cows?  It’s true! The male species are called bulls or steers.  Females are called cows, but only after she has given birth to a calf.  Before a cow has given birth, she is referred to as a heifer. Young cattle or a baby cow is called a calf. There are over 1,000 different breeds of cattle!

Where do Cows Live?

Can you believe that over 1 billion cows live all over the world?  Cows live on every continent except Antarctica.

Most cows live on farms. They are one of the most popular farm animals. Other farm animals include chickens, sheep, and goats. Cows roam in special places on the farm called pastures. Pastures are fenced-in areas of green grass. 

When it’s hot outside or if there’s a storm coming, the cows might hang out in a cozy barn. A barn is like a big, comfy house for cows. It’s where they stay safe and snug when they need a break from the weather.

Cows love to live in grasslands.  A grassland is a large open area covered in grass.  Cows will roam the grassland, grazing on the grass.

Wild cows will live in forests when there are no grasslands available.  This isn’t the particularly best place for cows as they can destroy forest areas by eating shrubs and plants, making it difficult for new trees to grow.

Cow facts for kids

What do Cows Look Like?

Cows have long faces with big, gentle eyes and floppy ears that hang down or to the sides of their heads. On top of its head, there might be two pointy horns, but not all cows have them.

Underneath, it has four sturdy legs that help it walk around and explore. They have large bodies and a tail that usually moves back and forth to keep the flies away.

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 yellowish or orange.

Right underneath the cow’s belly, you will see the cow’s udder. The udder looks a bit like a big soft bag with four parts, kind of like having four bottles all stuck together. These parts are where the milk is stored. And guess what? When it’s time for the cow to give milk, the farmer gently squeezes each part of the udder, and out comes the milk!

A cow has one stomach with four compartments.  The rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum. Cows are ruminates, meaning they can digest food that can normally not be digested.

Cows have long, flexible tongues. They can lick their noses with their tongue!

Different colored cows

What do Cows Eat?

Cows are herbivores, meaning they do not eat meat.  Cows have 32 teeth.  They used their teeth to eat 40 pounds of food each day, sometimes up to 50 pounds of food a day! Cows eat plants, grasses, corn, grains, hay, and lettuce. Cows 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 other cows who they felt were mean to them or treated them badly.

Communication

Did you know that cows have their very own special language? It’s true!

When cows want to say something to each other, they use different sounds, just like we use different words when we talk. The most famous sound a cow makes is their “moo.” But guess what? Cows don’t just moo for fun – they have different types of moos for different things!

For example, when a cow wants to say, “Hey, where are you?” they might moo softly. But if they’re feeling really excited, they might let out a big, loud moo to say, “I’m over here, come join the fun!”

When a mama cow looks for her calf, she will make a special low sound to call them over.

But mooing isn’t the only way cows talk. They also use their bodies! If a cow feels happy and relaxed, they might wag their tails or even nuzzle each other. And if they’re feeling a bit nervous or scared, they might flick their ears or stomp their feet to let others know.

Calves

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 usually give birth to one calf at a time.  

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!

Amazing Cow Facts for Kids

They are smart and intelligent animals and have a great memory. They can remember things for a long time.

Cows live up to 25 years.

Adult cows weigh 1,700 pounds!

They can run 35 miles per hour.

In deep mud, cows can run faster than horses!

Like a human’s fingerprints, no two cow’s spots are exactly the same.

Cows are great swimmers!

Cows have an excellent sense of smell.  They can smell up to 6 miles away!

Beef and milk come from cows. Beef cattle are special cows raised to provide delicious meat for people to eat! Dairy cattle are raised to produce milk.

Veal comes from calves.

Dairy Cows

Cows are amazing animals that give us milk through a process called milk production! Cow milk comes from dairy cows, also called dairy cattle. 90% of dairy products, including ice cream, butter, and cheese, are made from cows’ milk.  In the U.S., dairy cows are bred to produce milk.

Cows do not produce milk until after they have given birth. A pregnant cow will start to produce milk a couple of days before their calf is born.

We make most dairy products, such as butter, cream, ice cream, and cheese, from the milk we get from cows.

Did you know it takes 350 squirts from a cow to get one gallon of milk? It’s true! farmers know just the right way to pull on a cow’s udder (the place that stores the milk) to release the milk.

Today, dairy farms have milking machines. They are like special robots with gentle arms that tickle the cow’s udder. The milking machine knows how to squeeze and release the udder to get all that yummy milk out!

On average, cows can produce 7.5 gallons of milk a day! On average, they can produce 2,000 pounds of milk a year!

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.

Milk Facts for Kids

The glass milk bottle was invented in 1884. Milk was sold in glass bottles for over 70 years!  It wasn’t until 1967 that the US started selling milk in plastic bottles. 

Home delivery of milk started in 1942.

Twenty-one billion gallons of milk are produced in America every year.  The average American drinks 25 gallons of milk a year.

Did you know that drinking milk while 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, and 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.

Whole milk contains about 3.5% butterfat.  Some people would rather not have all that fat and will drink 2% milk, which contains 2% butterfat, or 1% milk, which contains 1% butterfat. 

Whole milk’s 3.5% butterfat may seem like a lot, but not compared to reindeer’s milk.  Reindeer milk is very rich and nutritious. It contains 22% butterfat.  If you want to learn more cool facts about reindeer, click here

Cows and Beef

Just like how some cows give us milk, other cows are raised to give us something different – yummy beef! Beef is a tasty meat that comes from cows.

These special cows, called beef cattle, live on big farms where they have plenty of space to roam and munch on tasty grass. It’s like having a giant playground just for them!

Farmers give them lots of yummy food to eat as they grow up, like grass, hay, and sometimes even special grains. They also make sure the cows have clean water to drink and cozy places to sleep.

When the cows get big and strong, it’s time for them to go on a special journey. They travel to a place called a processing plant, where they’re turned into different cuts of beef that we can cook and eat.

So, just like how some cows give us milk, these special cows give us tasty beef that we can enjoy in all sorts of yummy dishes, like burgers, tacos, and steak!

Amazing Cow Fun Facts for Kids 

Cows can go upstairs but cannot walk down.

Cows are sometimes used on the farms to pull carts or farm equipment.

Until the 1850s, most American families owned their own cows.

Cows are not native to America.  Cows first came to America with pilgrims.  They arrived in the colony of Jamestown in 1611.

Free Printable Cow Worksheets

Printable Cow Coloring Page
Printable Cow Coloring Page