Here at Hart Dairy, it’s no secret that we love our cows. So much so that we want to share some fun facts with you!
But first things first. Many people don't know that the word “cow” refers to females of the bovine population. Males are generally called bulls or steers. It's more complicated than that, but we'll leave it there for now.
So, without further ado, here are some more fun facts you may not know about cows! We hope you find them udderly fascinating.
1) Why do cows stick their tongues in their nostrils?
Who nose?! Just kidding.
Tiny glands in cow noses secrete mucus to protect their lungs from harmful bacteria in the air they breathe. The bacteria gets stuck in the mucus instead of reaching the lungs, which could potentially make the cow sick.
But all this mucus can make for a messy nose!
Since it’s tough for cows to blow her nose with a tissue, the cow will curl her long tongue into her nostril to give it a good clean. Cow tongues are perfectly shaped for cleaning their noses. Better yet, their tongues are quite rough, which helps scrape their nostrils clean.
2) Cows have around 25,000 taste buds.
That's about 2.5 times more than a human has! This is due, in part, to the fact that cows are herbivores and must be able to differentiate between the poisonous plants and the safe plants.⠀
Cows are also ruminants, meaning they regurgitate their food and re-chew it. You'll hear farmers refer to this as “a cow chewing her cud”.
One more tidbit: on average, a cow will move her jaw 50 times a minute – that’s about 72,000 times a day! ⠀
3) Cows have an excellent sense of smell.
In fact, they can detect odors up to six miles away!⠀
While we're talking superpowers, cows can also hear both low and high-frequency sounds well beyond human capability. I guess that's another fun fact in itself!
4) Cows spend an average of 10 to 12 hours a day lying down.
The average sleep time of a cow is about four hours a day; unlike horses, they don't snooze standing up.⠀⠀
The downtime is also important for milk production. They have to eat to have energy to produce milk, but this down time is when production gets amped up! Especially, when you see them lying down AND chewing their cud. That’s digestion at it’s finest -- churning fuel to milk!
5) Cattle have about 330 degrees of vision.
They only have blind spots directly in front of them and right behind them.⠀
6) Cows don't have top incisor teeth.
…so they can't bite the grass with their teeth. Instead, they actually tear it from the roots by wrapping their long and dexterous tongue around it and closing their jaws on it.
The lower portion of the grass contains loads of nutrients and fiber so it is beneficial for the cows to eat the lower portion — AND it helps for proper regrowth of the forage.
So there you have it. Now you know!