In honor of June Dairy Month and many dairies are now hosting a “Breakfast on the Farm” or “Farm Tour” events, I thought it would be fun to share some fascinating facts about our beloved calves and cows. Even I was surprised by some of these! Please click on the downloadable link for posters of the fun facts to post at your next dairy tour or breakfast.
Calf Fun Facts:
- Calves are born without an immune system, which is why it is so important that they get colostrum quickly after birth. Colostrum contains the antibodies they need to start building their immune systems.
- Calves also have super sharp teeth when they are born.
- Newborn calves can see, stand and walk
- Calves start to “moo” shortly after birth
- Newborn calves weigh between 60-100 pounds at birth
- Twin calves is rare, typically only happens 10% of the time
- Female calves are called “heifers,” male calves are called “bulls”
- Calves are fed milk until they are 8-9 weeks old
- Calves don’t start eating grass until they are 2-4 weeks old
- Young cattle are called calves until they reach adulthood at about 2 years old
Cow Fun Facts:
- Cows are used for many things like bullfighting, bull riding, rodeos, a food source (dairy and meat), leather goods, and in some countries cows are considered sacred, so they are not eaten.
- Cows, like humans, are pregnant for 9 months
- Cows produce methane, but they are NOT responsible for Global Warming
- Cows originated in Turkey over 10,500 years ago and the first cow arrived in the United States in 1611 and there are cows in all 50 states!
- Bulls can’t see RED- all cows are red/green color blind, which means that those Spanish Matadors can really use any color flag. The motion of the flag is what gets the bull all fired up. The real reason the fighters wear red and use a red flag is to hide the blood of the bull.
- Cows have a great sense of smell-they can smell things over 6 miles away!
- Cows can sleep standing up-however cow tipping is a MYTH! Cows are easily spooked and have excellent hearing, so there is no sneaking upon them.
- Cows with names produce more milk
- Cows have 32 teeth and chew at a rate of 50 times a minute, meaning they move their jaws a whopping 40,000 times a day!
- Cows eat for 8 hours a day which is equivalent to 40 pounds of food every day
- Chewing the cud is not just an expression we like to say-cows actually chew the cud which is regurgitated and partially digested food for 8 hours a day!
- Cows drink tons of water every day, they drink enough as a bathtub full of water!
What are some of your favorite calf and cow fun facts?