Wednesday, March 9, 2016

What Cows Think About During Their Day


Not being a cow it's hard to tell exactly what goes through their heads but having worked with them my whole life I'd say I have as good of a chance of knowing as anyone. That said there are probably a lot of old cowboys and others out there who may claim to know more to which I say add on to my answer!

1)  Cows seem to mostly think about food: where is it, where is the best food, how can I get the most of it, etc. If you ate around 100lbs of food per day you'd probably spend a lot of time thinking about it too. By the way they also spend 10-12 hours of their day laying around digesting their food too.

2)  Cows think about social interactions. Cows have fairly complex social orders with different breeds preferring to hang out together, relatives hanging out together, herd grooming, reproductive displays, and many different layers of dominance among herd members. I have seen cows stand around for a long time waiting for another cow to move from a spot so they could go where they wanted for a drink or food.
One cow of ours got very upset if she wasn't let into the row for milking in first position so that she could eat her own ration, then eat any remaining ration of the cow next to her, then stick her head out over the gate and when a human passed by, make eye contact and shake her head vigorously from side to side - something she would be unable to do unless she was first.

3)  Cows think about their offspring.

4)  Cows think about recreation. Cows like to play with stuff and explore. I love watching a group of heifers chase a turkey across a pasture, it is a very funny scene to watch a 15lb. turkey run for its life from some curious 600lb. heifers who have no intention of harming it. Curiosity can get cattle in trouble especially getting their heads stuck in things like gates, fences, trees, etc. while trying to see or eat something better. One thing my cattle like to do for recreation is get out of their fences and eat the apparently greener grass on the other side of the fence.

**No, this is not my interpretation of Donald Trump supporters~



** but pretty close.

1 comment:

McGehee said...

Cows also think about new and entertaining ways to convince the help -- their alleged owners -- they're dumber than a bag of baristas. That way they keep getting fed and herded and aren't kicked out to get a job and pay rent.

I may be projecting.