MOO! All About Cows

MOO! All About Cows

Cows, also known as cattle, are from the bovine family. Other bovine animals include bison, water buffalo, yak, and antelopes. Cows and other bovines have a cloven hoof and at least one of the sexes of the species has a horn. There are about 1.4 billion cattle in the world today.

Cows are raised in many parts of the world for meat, milk, leather, and to perform labor (pulling carts or plows). In India, cows are sacred animals and are honored in religious ceremonies. If you are a cow- India is the place to be.

Many people say that cows have four stomachs. They have one stomach but it does have four compartments. These compartments are called the rumen, reticulum, omasum, and the abomasums. Their unique stomach allows them to regurgitate indigestible food (when they are chewing this it is called cud) which they re-swallow. The cud is used as food by microbes in the rumen . When the microbes die the cows partially digest it and receive high-quality protein-even though all they eat is grass.

Just like humans, the gestation period for a cow is nine months. A newborn cow weighs between 55-95 pounds. Cows can reach about 1,500 pounds but have been recorded up to about 3,000.

Information For Cow Breeders and Farmers

If you are a breeder it is important to buy quality bulls with good genetics. These bulls cost more but will make you more in the long run. There is a tool called EPD (Expected Progeny Difference) that rates a bull based on genetics to predict the quality of its progeny(children). This is more accurate than basing your selection on the individual bull's performance.

Quality is also important when it comes to what you are feeding your cows. The best forage is the most digestible. The best way to detirmine quality food is to fine the forage (hay, grass) that allows the cow to produce the most manure for the amount of food. This means the food was easier to digest and the cow got more nutrients out of it. 

INTERESTING COW INFORMATION

-According to a report from the United Nations FAO cattle are responsible for 18% of greenhouse gases because they emit large quantities of methane.

-Oxen are just cows that have been trained to work as draft animals and to follow signals from humans.

-Cows are revered in India, within the Hindu religion, because of the milk they provide. It is said you should respect a cow as you would your mother for this reason.

-Cows are known to form strong maternal bonds with their children and are social creatures.

-Cows can live for about 25-30 years.

-It is said that cows lay down before a storm because they can sense the lower air pressure. Many cow owners claim this is not true.

How to say "moo" in ten languages:

Danish - Muuh
Finnish - Ammuu
French - Meuh
German - Muh
Hebrew - Go'eh
Italian - Mu!
Japanese - Mo (as in "mow" the grass)
Norwegian - Mo
Portuguese - Muuu
Swedish - Muu

How to say "cow" in ten languages:

Denmark - Koe
France - Vache
Germany - Kuh
Italy - VaccaorMucca
Japan - Ushi
Korea - So
Poland - Krowa
Russia - Korova
Spain - Vaca
Sweden - Ko 

Learn more about cows:

History of Cattle

Cattle Diseases

Beef Cattle

History of the Domestication of Cattle

Cow Facts

Types of Dairy Cows

Different Cow Breeds

Greenhouse Effect and Cows

Cow Burps Effects the Environment

Information on Calfs