12 Facts You Need to Know About Dairy Cows

What Should I Know About Dairy Cows?

As one of the most common farm animals, dairy cows are an essential part of the food production system. Dairy cows provide us milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and butter. However, there’s more to them than just providing these delicious products! Here are some interesting facts about dairy cows that you need to know, courtesy of David Woods Hay Service.


1. Produce More Than Just Milk

Dairy cows produce more than just milk. Anytime you eat a yogurt parfait, an ice cream cone, a grilled cheese sandwich, or put butter on your toast, you can thank dairy cows. Additionally, their manure is used as fertilizer for crops or converted into energy sources like methane.


2. Have Special Feeding Habits

Like humans, dairy cows have specific dietary needs to maintain good health. Dairy cow feed includes a combination of grains, hay, and silage, as well as minerals and vitamins to supplement their diet.


3. Need Plenty of Activity

Dairy cows need plenty of exercise to stay healthy. Farmers usually take them on walks twice a day, which helps them to stay active and maintain good digestive health. Without such walks, cows can become lazy and prone to health issues.


4. Have Special Protective Measures

Farmers outfit dairy cows with special ear tags to identify them and keep track of their health. In addition, they also wear blankets to protect against cold and other weather conditions.


5. Possess Unique Social Behaviors

Dairy cows have a unique social hierarchy and form strong friendships with each other. When separated, cows tend to experience distress. This separation anxiety leads to a decrease in milk production and other health issues.


6. Live a Long Time

If you plan to farm dairy cows, be ready to take care of them for a long time. Dairy cows can live up to 15 years if kept in healthy conditions and given the proper care. In fact, some cows have even lived past 20 years!


7. Prone to Heat Stress

Dairy cows can quickly overheat in the summer due to their large size and heavy fur. To protect against this, farmers provide shade areas and plenty of water to keep them cool.


8. Use of Tongues

Cows use their tongues to pull grass and other food sources back into their mouths. It helps them break their food down more efficiently and clean the fur on their faces.


9. Highly Intelligent

Dairy cows are intelligent animals, remembering up to 30 other cattle. They also have a keen sense of smell and hearing, which helps them feel more secure in their environment.


10. Have Unique Digestive Systems

The unique digestive systems of dairy cows are one of their defining characteristics. Their four-part stomachs help them to break down food more efficiently and absorb more nutrition from what they eat.


11. Are Vegetarian

Dairy cows don’t consume any animal products. Their diet consists mainly of grass and other foliage, with a few supplements to meet their nutritional needs. That’s why feeding dairy cows should include high-quality sources such as products you get with our alfalfa hay delivery.


12. Sustainable Practices

Farmers have implemented various sustainable practices to ensure the cows’ well-being, such as using water conservation methods, providing comfortable resting areas, and giving them ample space to roam.


These are just some of the many dairy cow facts to know. Dairy cows offer us many benefits, from providing dairy products to supplying energy sources. By learning more about these fascinating animals, we can better understand their needs and care for them properly. Anyone who uses dairy cows should give them the best feed possible. Contact us at David Woods Hay Service for several products that are perfect for dairy cows and will ensure they get the nutrition they need.