Interesting (or not) cow facts

just stuff to ponder, I guess…

(and if anyone has a problem with these facts, go to and bitch to them)

A cow gives nearly 200,000 glasses of milk in her lifetime

12 or more cows is called a flink.

February 18th, 1930 marks the first flight by a cow in an airplane. Elm Farm Ollie, while watched by reporters, produced milk that was put into containers and parachuted over St. Louis, Mo.

A cow weighs about 1,400 pounds and eats about 55 pounds of food per day.

Milk delivered to the store today was in the cow two days ago.

When cows graze in their natural head down position, their saliva production increases by seventeen percent.

Cows have four stomachs. Often when a calf is born the farmer will make it swallow a magnet. This is to attract the various nails, staples, bits of wire, and so on that the cow may ingest while grazing. This odd hunger is known as “hardware disease.”

Cows, rice fields, and garbage dumps are the largest producers of methane gas.

More people are allergic to cow’s milk than any other food

The following means of making a living are, according to New York City statues, illegal: the skinning of horses or cows, the growing of ragweed, and the burning of bones.

And I shall leave you with this great quote from Mark Twain:

“Sacred cows make the best hamburgers.”

“I’m not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.”-- Calvin and Hobbes
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Cowgod: fixation, what?

I didn’t understand the part about the magnet. I mean, the calf eats metal, right? What is the point of the magnet? It seems like it would just collect all the magnetic stuff into a ball in one of the poor critter’s stomachs. But then, I’m not a cow expert (or a cow god, for that matter).

Another fact. Cow/calf bones are being transplanted into humans everyday now. Scary but true… my son has a three inch piece of calf bone that was transplanted into his ankle and voila it melded right into his own bone.

I am me… accept it or not.

In Iceland, they transplant cow brains into people, or so I’ve heard :wink:


“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)

I hear tell that, strictly speaking, cows don’t have four stomachs. They have one stomach divided up into four sections.

I don’t know why, though. Something to do with ruminating, probably.

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The magnet attracts the metal debris and is then either passed or at least is held against the magnet where it is less likely to poke a hole in the stomach lining. We haven’t used a magnet in probably the last decade and have had maybe 1 or 2 with hardware. The best way to prevent hardware is to make sure there is no metal laying in their grain. Since they pull their grass out with their teeth they are not likely to get metal from their pasture area.

Never heard the “flink” bit before.

I knew farmers forced cows to swallow magnets (I am a farmer’s daughter), but I was under the impression they didn’t do it until they suspected a cow had already swallowed metal. Then again, we sold the dairy when I was like 7 or 8, so don’t put too much stock in my faded memories.

Still have a magnet around here somewhere, though. They’re big, heavy suckers, and I shudder to think what would happen if someone took a notion to stick one to the side of a computer. (Hope I haven’t given any would-be saboteurs any ideas… ;))

“I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it,” Jack Handy

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That has always been the way I’ve heard of them being used too. I think uselessknowledge may have taken the useless part of their name to serious.

Random Cow Fact, unrelated to magnets:

A friend of mine in the Rutgers agriculture school took a class called “Roaming the Rumen [sp?].” Seems all the cows on the campus farm had big plastic plugs implanted into their sides. My friend and her class would go out every morning, unscrew the cap, stick their hand in, and pull out a big, steaming handful of whatever was in the cows’ stomachs. They’d take it inside to a lab, analyze it, and then go back out into the field and put it back.

Well, I always thought it was interesting, anyway.


Runs away screaming
– Sylence

And now, for my next trick, I will talk in spooky half-references.

From the “A Field Guide To Cows” . I knew this book would pay off. ( Falcon press, isbn: 156044424) A funny and informative book (And very very easy to read) if you’ve ever wondered about our bovine friends.

Sit back and scroll, it’s a bunch of stuff:

A cow has four stomachs. In descending order they are:

  1. Rumen or paunch - holds thirty gallons.
    2)Reticulum or honeycomb;
    3)Omasum or manyplies;
    4)Abomasum - considered the only true stomach

Beef cattle have a retangular outline.
Dairy cattle have a wedge shaped outline.
(Although I’ll be damned, the drawing in the book looks exactly the same, so they could be messing with my mind.)
The offical term of Mooing is actually called “Lowing”

Per day, a cow spends 6 hours eating and chewing cud.

It takes about 1.5 gallons of milk to make 1 gallon of ice cream.

The total value ( 1994 prices) of the 100,110,000 head in the USA was $63,016,005,000.

Today dairy cows produce double the amount of milk compared to milk production from the 1960’s.

New Zealand is first in butter consumption at 26 albs a year per person. The US is 4.6 lbs.

Cows can hear lower and higher frewquencies better than humans.

A cow can live 25 years

A cows heart beats between 60-70 beats per minute.

A 1,000 pound cow produces on average 10 tons of manure a year.

In an average herd, there is one bull to every 30 cows.

A cow stands up and sits down about 14 times a day. ( Musta been a catholic in a former life.)

An average cow with 2 milkings produces about 10 gallons of milk a day, or 50-60 pounds.

An average cow drinks about 30 gallons of water and eats 95 lbs of feed per day.

There are an estimated 920 different breeds in this world.

In the ancient Celtic religion the cows of different colors held different meanings: A black cow meant death; a brown cow meant fertility; and a white cow symbolized the sun cult.

Cows can detect odors up to five miles away.

(Now here is food for thought) There are approximately 350 squirts in a gallon of milk.

Old cows in India have their own nursing homes.

Achelous - a Greek river god who turned himself into a bull.

Apis or Hap - Bul god of the sun from Memphis, Egypt.

Audhumia - Norse cow god

Babe - Paul Bunyan’s Blue Ox. Seven ax handles fit between her eyes and she weighed more than the combined weight of all the fish that got away.

Beecher Alinda Ellen - The record miling cow giving 5,392.7 gallon in a year. She was a Holstein.

Bevo 1 - The first U of Texas mascot, in 1916. Irate A&M Aggie fans served the steer up at a banquent. Ahhh, now yesterday’s disaster at College Station makes sense.

Black Diamond: a bison and the model for the Buffalo nickel.

Brown Eyes: The Jersey cow in Buster Keaton’s 1925 “Go West” film

Donnetto - 4,300 pound record cow, a Chianna.

Elm Farm Ollie - as noted above.

Enola Gay - the cow of Captian Paul Tibbets mother and the name of the plane of Hiroshima.

Islero - the bull that gored and killed the world’s greatest bullfighter while the matador was giving the final fatal blow to the bull. ( Yeah, bull.)

Norman - Billy Cyrstal’s cow in “City Slickers.”

And for real trivia buffs: You’ll Do, Lobelia - The original model for Elsie the cow, on the milk bottle.
The guy who wrote this book, John Pukite, is coming out with a book on either Pigs or Goats. I can’t wait…

Wait… Babe was a she? But… an ox is a mature steer; as in, a castrated male over the age of 4 years. So, sure Babe wasn’t much of a he anymore, but… wait, I guess if Babe is blue, can fit 7 ax handles between her eyes, etc., then she can be a she, too.

“I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it,” Jack Handy

The Kat House
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I did not know that. (no wonder they seem to always be acting on their best behavior when I try and sneak up on 'em…)

“I’m not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.”-- Calvin and Hobbes
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“eats 95 lbs of food a day”

That has got to be an average of all breeds, because most dairy cows I know average around the 50 lbs mentioned previously.

Did they happen to mention what it feels like when one of those steps on your toes ? OUCH

And there is the website for the Field Guide To Cows which I posted to the “Wild Cows” thread over in GQ.

Funneefarmer, do you often have people with binoculars wandering around your field carrying “A Field Guide to the Cows” and calling, “Look! There’s a white-tailed Ayrshire!!”?? :wink:

No, but occasionally they’re looking through the windows and saying…

Here’s a link about bloat (gas buildup) in cattle. After reading this, you’ll understand why cows should say their prayers before eating. (Would that be “saying graze”?)