Thousands of years ago, human beings began using cattle as a source of food, clothing material, and transportation. Farmers have different names for the different kinds of cattle. 

            A cow is an adult female bovine that has had a calf (baby cow). Most cows are either dairy cows or beef cows.  Farmers raise dairy cows to produce the milk that makes products like butter, cheese, and milk.  The most famous kind of dairy cow is the Holstein, which has a distinct black and white pattern. Holstein cows can produce up to 18,000 pints (10,000 liters) of milk per year. Beef cows are raised on a farm and then killed for us to eat.

            Cows mostly eat grass, which they digest in stages using four compartments in their stomach. They also need a lot of water each day to stay hydrated. Their waste products, called manure, can be turned into fertilizer by thrifty farmers.

            Cows are important animals in many ancient cultures. In India, cows are sacred. They were also important symbols of fertility and creation in Ancient Egypt and Greece.

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Facts about Cow
Binomial Name: Bos taurus
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Bovinae
Genus: Bos
Species: B. taurus
Weight: 600 to 900 kg
Number of Teeth: 32
Heaviest Calf: British Friesian cow (225 lbs)
Diet: Herbivorous
Natural Habitat: Throughout the world
Age: 15 to 25 years
Age of Maturity: 2 years
Gestation Period: 9 months
Number of Offspring: 1 to 2
Interesting & Amazing Information on Cows 
  • The male counterpart of a cow is called bull and the offspring is known as a calf.
  • A cow can climb up the stairs, but cannot climb down. This is because her knees cannot bend properly.
  • A cow gives milk for the first time, only after she gives birth to a calf.
  • A cow produces around 200,000 glasses of milk in her lifetime.
  • A cow stands up and sits down about 14 times a day.
  • A cow that weighs 1000 pound can produce an average 10 tons of manure every year.
  • A cow usually spends 6-7 hours in day eating cud and around 8 hours on chewing it.
  • Almost all the cows chew at least 50 times per minute.
  • An average cow has more than 40,000 jaw movements in a day.
  • An average cow produces 30 lbs of urine and 65 lbs pounds of feces daily.
  • Cows are venerated in the Hindu religion of India.
  • Cows can drink up to 35 gallons of water a day.
  • Cows do not bite grass; rather they curl their tongue around it.
  • Cows have a single stomach, but four digestive compartments.
  • Cows have almost total 360-degree panoramic vision.
  • Cows have an acute sense of smell and can smell something up to 6 miles away.
  • Cows produce around 90 percent of the milk in the world.
  • Dairy cows can produce up to 125 lbs of saliva a day.
  • The average body temperature of a cow is 101.5°F.
  • A Holstein cow, named Robthom Suzet Paddy, holds the record for the greatest yield for a single lactation (365 days), at 59,298 lbs. 
  • A cow named Cow No. 289 holds the record for the highest lifetime yield of milk for a single cow, at 465,224 lbs.
  • The highest milk yield for a single day is 241 lbs, by a cow named Urbe Blanca.
  • The oldest cow till date was Big Bertha, a Dremon, which died just 3 months shy of her 49th birthday.
Cow Cow

Facts About Cows


Cows are referred to as the foster mothers of the human race because they produce most of the milk that people drink.


The first cow in America arrived in Jamestown colony in 1611. Until the 1850's, nearly every family had its own cow. The first regular shipment of milk by railroad was between Orange County, New York, and New York City and began in 1841.

In 1856, Gail Borden invented the condensed milk process. This process removed some of the water from milk so it would take up less space. Refrigeration came into use in 1880, and the first pasteurizing machine was introduced in 1895.


Dairying has improved through the years. Today, one cow can produce the milk that it once took 10 cows to produce.

Around 9.2 million cows are being milked on 110,000 farms in the United States. More than 99% of all dairy farms are family owned and operated.

Cows are milked for an average of 3-4 years. A cow must have a calf in order to produce milk.Calves are fed milk until they are 8-9 weeks old.

CowThe average cow is 2 years old when she has her first calf.
Calves are fed milk until they are 8-9 weeks old.

A young female cow is called a heifer.

Before milking machines were invented in 1894, farmers could only milk about 6 cows per hour. Today, farmers use machines to milk more than 100 cows per hour.

CowsCows are ruminants, which are cud chewing mammals. Sheep and camels also are ruminants. Alarm Clock

A cow chews her cud (regurgitated, partially digested food) for up to 8 hours each day.

Dairy Cow

Dairy cows provide 90% of the world's milk supply. The best cows give over 25 gallons of milk each day. That's 400 glasses of milk! U.S. cows give an average of 2,000 gallons of milk per year. That's over 30,000 glasses of milk!

Contrary to popular belief, cows do not have 4 stomachs; they have 4 digestive compartments:

  • The rumen holds up to 50 gallons of partially digested food. This is where cud comes from. Good bacteria in the rumen helps digest the cows food and provides protein for the cow.
  • The reticulum is called the hardware stomach because if cows accidentally eat hardware (like a piece of fencing scrap), it will often lodge here causing no further damage.
  • The omasum is sort of like a filter.
  • The abomasum which is like our stomach.

Cows drink about a bathtub full of water and eat around 40 pounds of food a day.

Cows have 32 teeth:

  • 8 incisors on the bottom front
  • 6 molars on the top and bottom of each side
  • A tough pad of skin instead of teeth on the top front
Breeds of U.S. Dairy Cattle
Brown Swiss0.6%
Milking Shorthorn0.1%

Holstein CowHolsteins are black and white, and each has 
a unique pattern.
  • A Holstein calf weighs 80-110 lbs. at birth.
  • A mature Holstein cow weighs 1,300-1,500 lbs.
Jerseys vary from dark brown or fawn, and sometimes are splashed with white.
  • A Jersey calf weighs around 60 lbs. at birth.
  • A mature Jersey cow weighs 900-1,000 lbs.

The average body temperature of a cow is 101.5°F.

Water buffalo, camels, goats, sheep, horses, and reindeer are also milked.

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