June is National Dairy Month! In honor of the month, here are 6 facts about dairy cows while you celebrate all things dairy.
- It’s very difficult to sneak up on a cow. Though cows cannot see the color red, there are other benefits to their special eyes. Thanks to the positioning of their eyes, cows can see almost 360 degrees. (Don’t worry, they can turn their heads to get a better look in their blind spot–straight ahead.) They can also see in the low light, meaning they see well during the night.
- Cows can smell odors up to six miles away. With this strong sense of smell, they have aversions to bad smells, which is another reason to keep their home clean.
- Cows have 32 teeth—the same number of teeth humans have. However, cows do not have top front teeth. To grab food, cows instead use their tongue, wrapping it around items like grass and pulling. Cows don’t need additional dental care from farmers, as cows spend a good part of their day chewing.
- Cows use their long tongues for more than eating. A cow’s rough, long tongue makes it easy to clean, specifically to clean their own nose. Oh, and to lick anyone they’re curious about. Next time you are at a dairy farm, watch out for that nearly foot-long tongue!
- Cows have 207 bones in their bodies, only one more bone than humans. Considering how tall and large they are (around 900-1,600 pounds depending on the breed), that’s amazing!
- Cows have cloven hooves, meaning each hoof is split into two nearly equal parts. Like trimming nails, hooves need to be trimmed and cleaned, though every few months. Like other animals, cows can naturally wear down the hooves by walking, but farmers like to make sure that hooves don’t become long and uncomfortable. It also is a good time to check the health of the hooves.