The cow (Bos taurus) is one of the most common animals found in most countries around the world. In fact, the cow supplies about 90 percent of the dairy needs for the world population. Although the cow is a popular source of milk and meat, it’s also a sacred animal in many religions and cultures, such as the Hindu religion in India. The cow has also been used to measure wealth in various societies. Domestic cattle were brought over to the Western Hemisphere on Columbus’ second voyage in the late 1400s.
The cow’s diet consists of grass and hay. In fact, the cow is one animal that has a complex stomach that allows it to digest grass. They chew the cud, meaning they re-chew the food that they’ve already eaten. On average, a cow spends six hours eating and eight hours chewing its cud. Cows can live for over 20 years.
Fun Cow Facts
- A cow produces about 200,000 glasses of milk in its lifetime.
- A cow can’t produce milk until after it gives birth for the first time.
- Cattle outnumber humans in 9 states: Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.
University of Michigan Museum of Zoology
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