Cow Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Lindsy Frazer

Dr. Frazer has taught several college level Science courses and has a master's degree in Human Biology and a PhD in Library and Information Science.

Do you think you can you outrun or out-sniff a cow? Find out in this lesson about the different types of cows, what cows eat and other fascinating cow facts.

Cows Were Pilgrims Too!

Today there are over 1 billion cows in the world and they can be found on every continent except for Antarctica. Over ninety million of these cows live in America, but cows weren't always found here. The first cows to arrive in America traveled with the Pilgrims from England in 1611.

Cow Families

Cows are also known as cattle, and each member of a cattle family has its own specific name. Female cattle who have given birth are called cows, while female cattle who have not had a baby are called heifers. Male cattle are called bulls. Even baby cattle get a special name - calves.

Female cattle who have given birth are called cows. Baby cattle are called calves.
Randall Cattle

What Do Cows Eat?

Cows are herbivores, which means they only eat plants. Cows mainly eat grass - lots of it! They spend eight hours a day eating and consume about 50 pounds of food a day. With all the food they eat, it is no wonder cows can weigh anywhere between 600 and 2,500 pounds!

To digest all the grass, plants and hay they eat, cows' large stomachs have four different compartments, or sections. These special stomachs make cows powerful digesting machines. In fact, cows can digest foods that many other animals cannot, like plant stems or hard seed coverings. Animals, like cows, that have stomachs with many compartments to digest tough food are called ruminants.

Cow stomachs have four compartments so they can digest tough grass and plants.
Cow Stomach

Cows Come in Many Shapes and Sizes

Not all cows are black and white. In fact, there are over 800 different breeds, or types, of cows in the world and each breed looks a little different.

Highland Cattle that live in Scotland are furry and Texas Longhorns have, you guessed it, giant horns! There are even miniature cows. Dexter Cattle are a breed of miniature cow from Ireland that are only 3 feet tall.

There are many breeds of cattle and they all look different. Highland Cattle are furry!
Highland Cattle

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