- The Animal Encyclopedia for Kids


Cow Facts

Size Up to 6.72 ft (2.05 m) (Guinness World Record)
Speed Up to 25 mph (40 km/h)
Weight 1,102-3,836 lb (500–1,740 kg)
Lifespan 12-20 years
Food Grass, clover, vegetables, grain
Predators Bears, wolves
Habitat Worldwide
Order Even-toed ungulates
Family Bovids
Scientific name Bos primigenius taurus
Characteristics Big hoofed animal

Main Characteristics

This profile should be titled “domestic cattle” instead of “cow”, but the term “cow” is being used much more frequently. Here are the correct definitions:

Calf: young animal
Cow: Female cattle that has had one calf
Bull: Male cattle
Ox: Castrated adult male cattle

Physical Description

Why Do Cows Have Four Stomachs?

People often say that the cow has got four stomachs, but basically it is just one stomach with four compartments: The rumen (fermentation chamber), reticulum (separates fermented from undigested feed), omasum (absorption of water and fatty acids that are produced during the fermentation process in the rumen), and the abomasum (resembles our stomach).


Why Do Cows Have to Chew Their Food Twice?

Dieticians advise us to chew every bit 30 times. This helps us to recognize in time when we are full. Now imagine you would chew your food about 30,000 times like a cow. In doing so, the cow produces 40 gallons (150 liter) of saliva and gets really thirsty. Therefore, the cow sometimes consumes up to 47.5 gallons (180 liter) of water per day – in some cases up to 6.6 gallons (25 liter) per minute.

Cow Cow - Photo: Birkir Asgeirsson/Shutterstock

Senses and Abilities

Cows Have an Excellent Sense of Smell

The enthusiasm for fresh, green, savory grass can motivate cows to take a walk of 8 kilometers (provided the field is large enough). Cows can smell things at about this distance. So pick some clover and wait what’s going to happen.


Cows usually have calves once a year. During the first days after birth, the cow produces a special mother’s milk that is not drinkable for humans.

Cow Cow - Photo: Vera Verano Photo/Shutterstock


The Biggest Cow in the World

The current world record holder with a size of 6.72 feet (2.05 meters) is an Italian bull called Fiorino. But another cow almost won the title and was munching his way into the Guinness Book of World Records. Ok, actually the cow was a bull, a Holstein cattle.

At 6.49 feet (1.98 meters) (total height !!) Big Cow Chilli weighed as much as a small elephant. Unfortunately, his joints did not withstand the heavy weight, so vet had to put him to sleep, to avoid unnecessary pain and suffering.

Fun Facts

Cows Have Regional Accents

"What d’ya say?" No, cows don’t have accents and do not speak any dialects we are familiar with. But their mooing actually differs from region to region.

Cows Are Unable to Go Down Stairs

Cows can be easily led upstairs, but would never walk down the stairs. They are not capable to bend their legs accordingly.

Cows Don’t Fall Over

Sometimes cows have to be anaesthetized to get medical treatment or be transported. But they do not fall over then as we would do. Mostly they simply keep standing still. It’s alright as long as the doctor knows if the cow is wide awake or already drowsy.

In India Cows Are Considered Holy Animals

As farm animals cows produce milk, meat, and leather. But the Hindus in India worship the cow as a holy animal that must not be killed. The cow is seen as a mother or provider sustaining life.

The Cow Is Related To:

  • Aurochs
  • Bison
  • European Bison

Animals in the Same Biome:

Cow Cow - Photo: Modfos/Shutterstock


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