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Why do cows moo?


8 Reasons Why cows moo

What are they saying

Just like you start to assimilate a foreign language by spending enough time in a foreign county, the same thing happens at the farm. You begin understanding the cows pretty well.

Although I don’t speak cow, I sometimes feel that I can understand what they are trying to tell me. Endless hours on the farm will do that to you. I’ve found you can tell a lot about what’s going on with the cows, just by listening to their moos.

Why do cows moo

What are they saying?

Usually there are a few different reasons why cows will moo. Here are a few:

  • They are curious – If there’s something interesting, and out of the ordinary going on, the cows will start calling out. Sniffing strongly and mooing is their way of investigating
  • Looking for friends – Cows will call out to other cows to find out where they are. Cows are very social (that’s why they congregate in herds), they naturally like other cows and want to spend time with them. There has been some research on this, and researchers eavesdropping on ‘conversations’ have confirmed that cows do appear to be chatting with one another with their moos. (Source)
  • When they are in estrus, aka looking for a Boy Friend – When a cow enters her breeding time, she gets very vocal. She wants a BF, and doesn’t want to wait around for one. Cow scientists have found that cows get very vocal during this time. A cow’s vocalization was found to increase 78% while they were in heat. (Source)
  • They are mad – Cows usually don’t get mad, but they will make sure you know when they are. Usually it’s the bulls that moo this way. Watch out for them, they will warn you. They are usually quite mean sounding. You can watch one of my YouTube about Wubbzy the bull. He’s quite talkative. (Wubbzy the bull YouTube video)
  • They want to be milked – Cows aren’t needy animals, but they do demand a few things. One of their demands is a punctual milking schedule. Researchers have found that cows could choose their trips to the milk barn; they would like to be milked about 3.5 times per day. If you are a few hours late, they get cranky, and will send out some moos telling you to hurry up.
  • They are hungry – This is another one of those things cows demand… food. Since cows will eat about 100 lbs. of feed each day, they will definitely complain if their stomachs are empty. They have 4 of them remember. You can expect noise if they don’t get enough feed.
  • When they are “horsing” around – Cows have playtime too. Even though some of them aren’t as young as they once were, they still like to play with the other cows. Head butting each other and jumping around are just a few of the games they play. They have playful moos when playing with their friends.
  • They are exploring new lands – Cows are creatures of habit, they like plain and boring routines. But sometime when the gate opens up, they go exploring. They are usually sure to let their herdmates know the gates are open. They don’t want to go exploring alone. Come on friends, let’s go explore.

So why do cows moo? Because they are “cowmunicating” with each other. Or Com’moo’nicating rather. Pick whichever terrible pun you like best.

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A Little Moo