10 Interesting Cows Facts for Kids (2024 Updated)
Cows are some of nature’s most widely-loved animals. They are often found wherever humans live, and are incredibly social animals. In addition to being raised as livestock, cows are often used as riding animals, kept as household pets, and they even have a religious significance in some parts of the world.
Are you intrigued? Keep reading to learn more facts about cows!
Basic Cow Facts
The scientific name for cows is Bos Taurus.
2. Scientific Classification
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Artiodactyla
- Family: Bovidae
- Subfamily: Bovinae
- Genus: Bos
- Species: B. taurus
3. Common Physical Characteristics
Cows are known for their rectangular and stocky bodies. Their heads are smaller when compared to the proportions of their bodies, and they have very strong necks. The color of their bodies vary from ones species to another, with some cows being black and white, while others are have reddish-brown fur.
4. Common Types of Cows
Some of the most common types of cows are:
- Jersey cows
- Brown Swiss cows
- Holstein cows
- Highland cattle
- Shorthorn cows
- Hereford cows
5. Size and Weight
It’s worth noting that while a cow’s size and weight depend on its breed, the average male cow, or bull, weighs anywhere between 450 to 1,750 kgs. On the other hand, the average female cow weighs anywhere between 360 to 1000 kgs. Smaller species of cattle sometimes weigh 300 to 500 kgs, while the bigger species can weigh over 1,500 kgs.
6. Habitat and Range
As mentioned in the introduction, cows are generally found wherever humans live but are most commonly found in Europe, Australia, most parts of Asia, and America. Some types of cows can also be found in sub-Saharan Africa. In terms of habitat, these creatures typically live in grasslands. However, they can survive in any kind of environment with adequate vegetation and where they are safe from any kind of predator.
Cows only eat plants and grass, making them herbivorous animals.
8. Life Expectancy
The average cow’s lifespan is around 15-20 years. However, cows that are raised in the meat and dairy industries aren’t allowed to live longer than 5 years.
10 Interesting Facts About Cows
1. Cows are ruminant creatures.
This means that cows have the special ability to absorb plant nutrients and ferment them in one of their four stomachs. They regurgitate their food and chew it again, and this regurgitated food is called cud. By rechewing their food, they break down the plant matter and absorb the nutrients that they need to stay healthy.
2. Cows have 330° vision.
Cows have 330° vision because their eyes are located on the sides of their heads rather than at the front. This means that their vision is their most dominant feature, but they also have a blind spot immediately behind them. Since they have 330° vision, researchers have learned that cows obtain most of their information visually.
3. The color red does not make bulls angry during bullfighting.
Bullfighting is a contest commonly held in South American and European countries. Since a piece of red cloth is waved at the face of a bull that charges at the matador, many people believe that the color red makes the bull angry. However, research shows that the movement of the fabric is what makes triggers the bull’s anger!
4. Cows possess more than 19,000 tastebuds.
Even though these creatures eat nothing but plants and grass, studies have shown that they can distinguish between salty, sweet, sour, and bitter foods. They tend to prefer salty and sweet foods but avoid sour foods because they tend to be toxic and unsafe to eat.
5. A cow’s mood affects the quality of its milk and meat.
While this fact might sound strange, researchers have discovered that a cow’s temperament affects the amount and quality of milk it produces, as well as the quality of its meat, if it is raised as livestock. If its mood is positive, the cow’s health and reproductive abilities are better, but if its mood is negative, the cow’s milk and meat quality is lower.
6. Cows are highly social creatures.
Cows are known for moving in herds, indicating that they are very social creatures. One study showed that calves separated from their mothers showed signs of a low mood, while another discovered that cows left alone for a short period of time displayed signs of psychological stress.
7. Cows are physically affectionate creatures.
Cows are physically affectionate creatures that enjoy being petted by humans and licked by other cows. Researchers have discovered that cows that have been licked by other cows showed signs of a lower heart rate, indicating that physical affection helped them relax!
8. Feral cattle exist in some parts of the world.
While cows are known for being loveable and domesticated creatures, feral and undomesticated cows do exist in some parts of the world, especially on islands in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. These are cattle aren’t cultivated or used to living with humans.
9. Cows cannot sleep standing up.
Contrary to popular belief, cows cannot sleep when they are standing! It is an urban legend that cows can sleep deeply while standing up, but this information is incorrect, and cows can only sleep while they are lying down.
10. America is one of the largest beef producing countries in the world.
America produces and consumes a large amount of the beef, producing around 25% of consumable beef. The average American eats over 60 pounds of beef every year as well, which is around 5% of a cow!
In this article, we took you through a list of facts about cows. These creatures are loving farmyard animals that contribute to the world’s economy, while simultaneously improving the quality of human life.
These creatures are a lot of fun to learn about, and we hope that this article inspired you to read more about cows!