Cow Facts
Cow Facts

31 Fun Cow Facts

James Israelsen
By James Israelsen, Associate Writer
Published October 12, 2021
  • Cows have a complex digestive system, which they need to process grass into carbohydrates.[2]
  • Cows produce methane when they digest food, which they release as flatulence. Twenty-five percent of the methane polluting the atmosphere in the United States comes from cows.[2]
  • Scientists are currently trying to alter the genetic makeup of the basic cow, in an attempt to lower the amount of methane gas they produce during digestion.[2]
  • In America, cowboys were originally called "cowherds." Australians and New Zealanders call them “jackaroos” or “jillaroos”; and, in Latin America, they are called "vaqueros" or "gauchos."[4]
  • In Africa, cattle are bred and raised by nomadic herders who have no home base; they roam in small groups and use their herds for their own subsistence as well as for trading.[4]
  • "Cow" technically refers to a female that has had at least one calf; males are called "bulls" or "steer," and a female who has yet to have a calf is called a "heifer."[5]
  • Cows have a hard time seeing things that are directly in front of them, so they normally turn their heads to the side when they want to look at something.[5]
  • Wagyu beef facts
    Wagyu is famous for its rich marbling
  • The beef from the Japanese Wagyu breeds of cattle is typically graded two degrees higher than the best prime beef produced in the United States.[3]
  • There are over 800 different breeds of cows in the world.[5]
  • Cows raised for meat are typically of a different breed than those used to produce milk.[5]
  • Some beef companies put “vegetarian fed” on their labels as a sales tactic, but all cattle are vegetarian fed—cows mainly eat grass or grain.[5]
  • Cows have near-panoramic vision, meaning they can see in almost every direction of a 360-degree circle.[5]
  • Cows can smell things that are up to six miles away.[5]
  • Cows do not have teeth on the upper front part of their mouths; they cut grass by pressing their bottom teeth against their hard top palate.[5]
  • The typical cow chews cud for up to 8 hours a day, moving its jaws around 40,000 times in the process.[5]
  • Although cows can sleep while standing, they usually spend around 10 hours a day lying down.[5]
  • Wagyu beef, generally held to be some of the best beef in the world, usually comes from cows raised in Japan with such luxuries as massages, a better diet, and longer life spans before being butchered.[3]
  • Contrary to popular belief, a bull charges a matador not because of the red color of the flag he holds but because of the way the matador moves it.[5]
  • Bull Matador
    Bull fighting has become highly controversial in recent years

  • The first cow in North America was brought over with the settlers of Jamestown in 1611.[5]
  • In the United States, there are around 98 million cows.[5]
  • Cows fall into the category of “ruminant mammals,” which are animals that chew cud. Other ruminants include sheep, goats, deer, and giraffes.[5]
  • The average cow’s stomach holds up to 50 gallons—about the same amount as most bathtubs—of partially digested food.[5]
  • A cow’s stomach has four different compartments, each serving a different digestive function.[5]
  • The hamburger was first introduced to the world at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904.[5]
  • The meat from a single cow can be ground into 2,000 quarter-pound hamburger patties.[5]
  • Cow Farming Facts
    It's not the norm anymore
  • In the mid-19th century, almost every single American family owned at least one cow.[5]
  • Cows originated in the British Isles and Europe. Humans domesticated cows between 8,000 and 10,000 years ago.[1]
  • Jersey cows are a breed of cattle that is particularly valued and guarded for their purity.[1]
  • The curled horns of the Ayrshire breed of cows can grow to over 12-inches long, although the impractical horns are usually removed when the calf is still young.[1]
  • "Kobe" beef is often bought at exorbitant prices by unsuspecting consumers who assume they are buying prime Japanese Wagyu beef.[3]
  • One important parameter that determines the primeness of a piece of beef is the amount of marbling; more marbling means more veins of fat that will then melt into the beef when cooked, making the meat soft, moist, and more tasty.[3]
  • Interesting Cow INFOGRAPHIC
    Cow Infographic Thumbnail

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