Cow Fun Facts

1. What time do you milk? 3 a.m. and 3 p.m.

2. Are cows social animals? Yes, and they naturally form large herds. And like people, they will make friends and bond to some herd members, while avoiding others.

3. How much food does one cow eat? Each cow typically eats 100 lbs of food each day.

4. How much water does one cow drink? Each cow typically consumes up to 50 gallons of water each day, which is nearly a bathtub full).

5. What do you feed your cows? A mixture of grass and corn silages. Silage is the chopping and fermenting of all crops grown on our farm.

6. What type of cows do you have? Holsteins.

7. Do all Holsteins look alike? No. Some are red and white and some are black and white. No, just like fingerprints no two cows have exactly the same pattern of spots.

8. How much milk does a cow produce? Each cow produces different amounts depending on when they have had a calf, etc. A cow can produce up to 12 gallons of milk a day.

9. How much does a cow weigh? Our cows average between 1200-1800 lbs.

10. Cow Lingo: Cow = a mature female; Heifer = young female; Steer: castrated male; Bull: male; Dry Cow/Springer = Last trimester pregnant cow.

11. Why do cows chew their cud? Chewing a cud is a process by which cows thoroughly digest their food. A cow chews her cud (regurgitated, partially digested food) for up to 8 hours each day.

The cow has a stomach organized into 4 sections to take care of hard-to-digest food. When the cow first takes in food, it chews it just enough to moisten it. Once swallowed, the food goes to the stomach’s first section, where it is mixed with chemicals and softened. This softened food is called the cud, small balls of food.

Next, the stomach’s muscles send the cud back up to the cow’s mouth, where it is re-chewed and swallowed again, this time going to another section of the stomach, where moisture is squeezed out of the cud.

Finally, the food enters the last section of the stomach, the true stomach, where digestive juices mix with the food and start it on its way to the intestine to be completely digested.

12. How long is a cow pregnant? 9 months.

13. Does a cow have to have a calf in order to produce milk? Yes, a cow must have a calf in order to produce milk. Calves are fed milk until they are 9-10 weeks old.

14. At what age does a cow have its first calf? The average cow is 2 years old when she has her first calf.

15. How many teeth does a cow have? Cows have 32 teeth: 8 incisors on the bottom front, 6 molars on the top and bottom of each side and a tough pad of skin instead of teeth on the top front.

16. What is the lifespan of an average cow? The life of an average Holstein can range from four to 10 years, but they are only expected to produce milk for about four of those years. At Windcrest Dairy we have a cow that is 15 years old.

17. How fast does a cow’s heart beat? A cow’s heart beats between 60 and 70 beats per minute.

18. How well can a cow hear? Cows can hear lower and higher frequencies better than humans.

19. A cow’s normal body temperature is 101.5°F.

20. Are cows colorblind? Yes, they are red-green colorblind. In a bullfight, its the waving of the cape that attracts the bull, not the red color.