I ask a lot of questions – always have. It’s what lead me to pursue a career in journalism since the most important trait of a good journalist is the ability to ask questions. When I started dating my husband, the questions only seemed to increase – there was so much to learn, so much to figure out and so many questions that rattled in my brain. The poor guy, he never saw it coming.
We’re four years into marriage and while I’ve learned a thing or two about farming and cattle, the questions still remain. So, since the basis of my blog is passing along my new-found knowledge of the farming world to you, the reader, here are a few fun facts about our cows that I’ve learned along the way.
– A cow will sleep between 4 and 5 hours a day.
– A lactating mother cow will consume about 70 pounds of feed per day. We feed our animals twice a day.
– The average cows will drink 1 gallons of water for every 100 pounds of body weight during cooler and cold weather. That means the average mother cow will drink 12 to 13 gallons of water per day during the winter months. During the hot, summer months that amount can double.
– Like humans, a calf’s milk consumption will increase as it grows but a 2 month old calf will drink about 2 gallons of milk per day.
– As I eluded to earlier in my post, mothers can often be heard bawling for calf. It’s a low repetitive almost horn-like noise that can be likened to a mom calling for her child to come inside for supper. The calf will likewise bawl for its mother. A mother and calf can also find one another by smell. (We use ear tags to help us pair mother and baby together, when necessary.)
– A heifer is a female cow that has not delivered a calf. Once a heifer has calved she is referred to as a first-calf heifer until she delivers her second calf the following year. (Because heifers have not been through the birthing process, we monitor them closely and make sure they help clean and feed their calves within hours of the calf being born.)
And add for your reading pleasure, a few additional fun cow facts . . .
– A cow will always get up rear legs first.
– A calf will gain just over 2 pounds per day. Between February and October a calf will gain more than 500 pounds.
– Baby calves are born with teeth. They will lose those teeth after a few months and new teeth will replace them. This will happen twice between birth and age 5, when their permanent, adult teeth grow in. But, unlike humans, the next tooth is already under the gum and will almost immediately replace the lost tooth.
Have more cow questions – send them my way. If I don’t know the answer you know I’m happy to ask, it’s kind of what I do!