Can cows swim?

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Most cows are very adept swimmers. Many can swim hundreds of yards at a time without resting. Obviously, there are exceptions to this, just like there are stronger and weaker human swimmers. Be sure to check out the video at the end of this post to see some cows swimming.

It used to be common for farmers to swim their cattle over lakes and rivers to get to greener pastures. While this still happens to date, it’s not nearly as common as it once was.

Cows swimming to greener pastures
Cows swimming to greener pastures

There are many techniques to get unwilling cattle into water. I’ll name a couple that seems to be fairly common here. First, if one of the more dominant cows can be herded into the water, the rest of the herd will usually follow. Secondly, some cows will follow a horse and its rider across a body of water. The horse will stay on the downstream side of the cows to prevent the cows from floating downstream. Think about how that would look: A group of swimming cows following a swimming horse with a person on it.

INTERESTING FACTS
  1. There are over 800 different cattle breeds.
  2. Cows chew about eight hours per day.
  3. Cows can see nearly 360 degrees.
  4. Cows can sleep standing up.
  5. Cows can smell things up to six miles away.
INTERESTING VIDEO

INTERESTING REFERENCES
  1. AmericanCowboy.com – How to swim cattle
  2. Reference.com – Can Cattle Swim?
  3. CloverMeadowsBeef.com – Amazing Facts About Cows

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