Did you know these things about cattle...
- A cow stands up and sits down about fourteen times a day on average.
- A cow gives milk for the first time, only after she gives birth to a calf.
- Cattle can climb up stairs but cannot climb down because their knees cannot bend properly.
- Cattle have an acute sense of smell and can smell something up to 10km away.
- Cattle have 32 teeth. But in front of their mouth, on the top, they have a dental pad and no teeth. This makes biting short grass harder.
- The ancestors of domestic cattle are the extinct aurochs.
- Cattle are ruminants, meaning that they have a digestive system that allows use of otherwise indigestible foods by regurgitating and re-chewing them as 'cud'.
- It takes 50 to 70 hours for a cow to turn grass into milk and most cows give about 25 litres of milk a day. (Dairy cows, beef cattle probably a bit less).
- For every litre of milk the cow makes, more than 400 litres of blood must travel around the udder to deliver the nutrients and water for making milk. (Dairy cows)
- A cow has about 45 litres of blood in her body, so her blood is always on the move around the udder to keep making milk. (Dairy cows)
1. We breed miniature cattle for pets so we are often asked, "How long will a cow live for"?
The short answer is we can't know. One reason being that keeping cattle as pets is a relatively new concept - expect for house cows for milking, of course. But we expect our calves as pets will live at least as long as a small dog or a healthy horse.
Here is something you might find interesting on old cows.
Published: Friday, Dec. 31, 1993 12:00 a.m.
Big Bertha, the world's oldest cow, has died at age 49.
Big Bertha, the world's oldest cow, died just before her 50th birthday.
The Guinness Book of Records says Big Bertha was born on March 17 - St. Patrick's Day - 1944. It lists her not only as the world's oldest cow but also as world holder of the lifetime breeding record for cattle, with 39 calves.
Farmer Jerome O'Leary bought her at a cattle fair 47 years ago and kept her at his farm near the market town of Kenmare in County Kerry in south-west Ireland. O'Leary said Big Bertha fell sick five weeks ago and died on the farm Sunday.
"We did everything we could for her and are sorry that she could not make her 50th birthday on St. Patrick's Day next year," he was quoted as saying by the Irish Independent newspaper.
Because of her age, Big Bertha was a celebrity in recent years at cattle shows, where her appearances helped raise more than $75,000 for cancer research and other charitable causes.
O'Leary said her body has been sent to a taxidermist to be stuffed for more fund-raising across Ireland.
O'Leary still has several of her offspring in his herd. The oldest is 35.
2. We are also asked, "How small are small cattle?" How small is the smallest cow in the world?
Apparently, Swallow, an 11-year-old black Dexter cow who hails from Yorkshire, England is currently the smallest cow in the world. Swallow stands 33.5in (0.8m) tall from hind to foot - shorter than most sheep. Swallow secured a slot in the 2011 Guinness World Records.
The 11-year-old Swallow, who is currently pregnant, has produced nine calves.