Adorable Baby Cow Facts That Will Make You Swoon
The United States is home to more than 90 million cattle and calves. Still, no matter how common this animal is, you can’t help but fawn over it. Across America, you'll find people pulled over on the side of the road just to take a photo of adorable baby cows following their mom, and these animals are always very popular at petting zoos.
While baby cows might be abundant, there are some pretty amazing facts about them that are far from common knowledge. Passing by them quickly on the freeway, they seem simple and all very similar. However, once you get to know these animals better, you’ll realize that they are complex, emotional and incredibly smart. Here are 30 facts you probably didn’t know about baby cows.
Newborns Are Quite Able
While babies of other animal types can be rather helpless at first, baby cows are different. They’re able to see, stand and walk as soon as they’re born.
That said, they do need a moment to get used to their legs, which is why videos of wobbly baby cows are so adorable.
In Fact, They Have Super Senses
Baby cows are not only born with developed senses, but they even have really great senses. They can see nearly 360 degrees around them and hear sounds at both higher and lower frequencies than humans can.
They can also smell things from as far as 6 miles away.
Baby Cows Grow in Their Moms as Long as Humans Do
Gestation periods among animals vary greatly, but the cow’s gestation period is as close to a human’s as they come.
Cows are pregnant for an average of nine months, so baby cows have plenty of bonding time inside of their moms.
They Don’t Have Litter Siblings
While many popular animals give birth to full litters with several babies, that’s not the case with cows. Most cows give birth to exactly one calf — another way their pregnancies are much like that of humans.
So, baby cows don’t immediately have siblings. They only get them if their mom has more babies.
Males and Females Have Different Names
There are different names for each gender.
Any baby cow is called a calf, but a young female cow is called a heifer and a young male cow is called a bull calve.
They’re Bottle Fed for a Week
On most farms, baby cows are fed from a bottle for at least a week. This is important for making sure they get the adequate nutrition that they need.
After about a week, they’ll usually drink from a pail for another seven weeks.
Baby Cows Can Be on Their Own Early
Baby cows can venture off on their own rather early. Sometimes, they’re ready to eat grass in the pasture as early as four weeks.
However, they do love to be with their moms when they can be.
They Communicate With Each Other
Baby cows are very social and communicative. They love to play with others, and they even moo in different tones and pitches to communicate different emotions.
Often, they mimic each other’s behavior as a form of communication, too.
Calves Are Cliquey
While calves like to make friends, they also tend to stick to the same friends. If they don’t like a cow, they don’t hang out with them.
Baby cows often form their pack early in life. In fact, they usually hang with just two to four other cows for most of their lives.
The Heaviest Baby Cow Was 225 Pounds
While 100 pounds is the normal upper weight for a baby cow, there was one born in 1961 that weighed 225 pounds (pity the mother).
More recently in 2015, a 165-pound heifer was born in California. (Its mother was of average size, too.)
One Baby Cow Is Just 20 Inches Tall
Now for the smaller baby cows — a teeny tiny cow was born on a farm in Bangladesh. The baby cow, named Rani, weighs just 57 pounds now at full size.
Thousands of visitors have flocked to see her, and her owner is applying to have her put in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Some People Keep Baby Cows as Pets
Some people keep baby cows as pets. The best breeds for this are the Dexter cattle, Guernseys, Miniature Scottish Highland and Angus. These are typically smaller than others and easy to maintain.
The Miniature Scottish Highland is especially cute because it has its distinct shaggy hair. Angus cows are known to have mild personalities.
One Baby Cow Is a Social Media Star
On a whim one day, Iowa resident Mason Corkery put his pet calf Gucci in his car and drove her to Dairy Queen for dessert. He filmed her enjoying her ice cream in the car, and overnight the video received over 6 million views.
The video got both Corkery and his cow invited on CBS News and ABC’s "Good Morning America."
There’s a Section of Social Media Dedicated to Them
Gucci isn’t the only cow making waves online. There is an entire section of TikTok called Cow TikTok that is dedicated to adorable videos of baby cows.
If you ever need something to warm your heart, be sure to check it out.
They Eat Frequently
Baby cows have to eat often and a lot. Most eat every three to four hours and seven to 10 times a day.
It equates to 2.5 to 5 cups per feeding — or enough milk every day to fill a standard human bathtub.
Many Are Born With Horn Nubs
Most baby cows are born with horn nubs that are later removed by a vet.
They are very small semblances of horns — they look like little bumps.
Their Moms Have Them Young
Mama cows give birth at a relatively young age. Most have had a baby by age 2.
Keep in mind that cows can live to be 20 years old, so 2 is rather early in their lifespan.
Some Live in Little Houses
On many dairy farms, baby cows live in little hutches that have endearingly been dubbed cow tiny houses.
They look a bit like igloos and are made to keep the baby cows safe while they’re still developing and have weak immune systems.
You Can Feed Them These Treats
If you ever visit a farm or petting zoo and want to know what to feed a baby cow, they can actually enjoy many healthy human treats. Some of these include carrots, turnips, apples, potatoes, cabbage and cauliflower.
Be sure to give them small pieces since their mouths are still developing.
There Are Some Seriously Cute Baby Cow Names
Baby cows are so beloved that the world has even decided on popular baby cow names.
These include Annie, Annabelle, Bella, Betty, Buttercup, Clarabelle, Daisy, Dixie, Gertie, Nelly and Rosie.
They’re Friends With Dogs
There are countless stories of baby cows and dogs becoming best friends.
They play and snuggle, and even when baby cows grow big, they remain gentle with their dog friends.
This Little Girl Snuck a Baby Cow Into Her Home
One baby cow gained internet fame when a little girl snuck her into the house. The girl’s mom was first upset, but when she saw the two cuddling, she filmed it for all the world to enjoy.
Since then, the cow has snuck back into the house.
They’re Born With Soft Hooves
Though cows grow up to have big, rough hooves, baby cows are born with soft, malleable hooves.
They’re soft because they’ve been inside liquid while in the womb for nine months.
They Signal With Their Tails
Baby cows communicate with their tails, a lot like dogs do.
They wag their tails when they’re happy or curl them up when feeling playful.
They’ll Remember You
Baby cows have great memories, even from a young age. They actually recognize faces.
If you meet a baby cow and are kind to it, it will likely be happy to see you when it’s older.
They Love to Be Pet
If you’re ever wondering whether or not it’s OK to pet a baby cow, they’d probably love it.
Baby cows are incredibly affectionate, and they love to be pet, much like dogs.
They Have Deep Bonds With Their Moms
Even though most farmers separate baby cows from their moms at a young age, they have deep bonds with their mothers.
If left to their own devices, moms would nurse their babies for up to a year in some cases.
They Talk to Their Moms From Inside The Womb
Baby cows start communicating with their mamas from inside the womb. While pregnant, the mothers start to make small grunting noises that only their babies in the womb can understand or hear.
Think of it the way human moms speak to their babies while they’re pregnant.
They Have Baby Teeth
Here’s another way baby cows are much like human babies: They have two sets of teeth throughout their lives.
Baby cows are born with about 20 small teeth — otherwise known as their baby teeth. These later fall out, and 32 adult, permanent teeth replace them.