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Cows like to sleep close to their families, and sleeping arrangements are determined by individuals’ rank in the social hierarchy.


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Facts about cows

  • Like humans, cows (cattle) form close friendships and choose to spend much of their time with 2-4 preferred individuals. They also hold grudges for years and may dislike particular individuals.
  • Cows display emotions and have been shown to produce more milk when they are treated better and as individuals.
  • Cattle get excited when they solve problems. When faced with a challenge of finding out how to open a door to reach food, their heartbeat went up, their brainwaves showed excitement, and some even jumped into the air.
  • Cows show their excitement when let out into a field after long periods confined indoors.


  • Cattle like to sleep close to their families, and sleeping arrangements are determined by individuals’ rank in the social hierarchy.
  • Cows are devotional mothers and are known to walk for miles to find their calves.
  • Cattle are extremely curious and inquisitive animals which will investigate everything.
  • Like many other grazing animals cattle have one stomach which is divided into four compartments or chambers: the rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomasum. This allows them to digest grain and grasses most effectively.
  • Cattle have almost 360° panoramic vision. This helps them to see predators coming from any direction.
  • Cattle have an excellent sense of smell. They can detect odours up to five miles away. They can also hear both low and high frequency sounds beyond human capability.
  • The cow is a protected animal in Hinduism, and Hindus do not eat beef. Cows are honoured at least once a year, on Gopastami. On this day cows are washed and decorated in temples.
  • Mahatma Ghandi described a cow as “a poem of compassion”, also stating that “I worship the cow and I shall defend its worship against the whole world”.
  • The meat of cows is widely eaten by people across the world. Cows' milk is also drunk and used to make other products such as cheese. Many people who consume animal products would like to choose products from animals kept in higher welfare systems. However welfare labelling on products can be confusing. Find out more about OneKind's campaign for Better Food Labelling.
  • Cows are used in experiments in the UK. Find out more about OneKind's Let's not turn back the clock on cruelty campaign to ensure welfare standards in the UK are not lowered.

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Quick Facts

  • Type: Mammal
  • Diet: Herbivore
  • Lifespan: 20-25 years
  • Size: Varies with breed however average is around 1.4m high
  • Weight: Average 750 kg
  • Habitat: Various including rain forests, wetlands, prairies, savannas and temperate forests
  • Range:  Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and North America
  • Scientific name: Bos
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Watch They're Here finalist in the Youtube Charity film awards 2011.