Fun Cow Facts by Mollie Cox Bryan

I confess: I love cows! I grew up in rural area in Pennsylania–Raccoon township, just outside of a steel mill town, Aliquippa. There was a farmer’s field behind the homes across the road from us. Cows grazed there and once, they escaped and I was awakened by a cow poking her nose in through my open bedroom window, mooing loudly. I’ll never forget that cow!

I thought I’d share some fun facts about cows that you may know know:

  • Cows are vegetarian.
  • Cows vision is almost 360 degrees. Having a near-panoramic view allows them to watch for predators. But they don’t see well straight in front of them so they will typically turn their head to look at you.
  • Cows can detect odors up to six miles away.
  • Cows are very social and don’t like to be alone. If one is isolated, it’s usually because she is sick or about to give birth.
  • Happy cows make better milk. If farmers name their cows and show affection, cows will produce more milk. In fact, studies have shown that cows who are comfortable around humans are less stressed when milked. When cows are stressed, they produce cortisol, a hormone that inhibits milk production.
  • Mahatma Gandhi described cows as “a poem of compassion.”
  • The idea that cows are dumb is a myth. Studies have shown that cows have learning associations and use past experiences to determine their future actions.
  • Cows remember and recognize faces even after long periods of time. Cows also have good spatial memory. They can remember where things are located such as food, water, shelter, best grazing spots and most importantly, the location of their babies.
  • Cows are sensitive. Like humans, cows love to play. When let outside after being cooped up for too long, cows run, prance and jump with joy. They may dislike certain individuals and can hold a grudge for years against other cows and people who have crossed them.
  • Cows have strong maternal bonds. When allowed, a mother cow may nurse her calf for as long as three years. The mother-child bond continues after weaning; mothers and their calves remain close to each other for life. There is also a sense of maternal community as other cows in the herd will help nurture calves if necessary.
  • Cows grieve. When a calf is taken away, the mother will cry and bellow for hours, even days, and may fall into a deep depression. Mother cows will search for their babies, visibly distressed. The calves also cry for their mother when separated.
  • Cows communicate. Yes, they “moo” but they also use different body positions and facial expressions. Another way cows “chat” is by mimicking one another. If one cow gets up from eating and starts walking across the field, other cows may get up and follow. This group behavior and networking is a type of communication between the cows.
  • Cows love affection– to be petted, stroked and scratched behind the ears.

Which one of those fun facts surprise YOU the most?


he first novel in Mollie Cox Bryan’s brand new mystery series, set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, will keep you guessing until the cows come home…

Christmas is a time for new beginnings, so after her big breakup, Brynn MacAlister takes the gouda with the bad. With her three Red Devon cows, she settles in bucolic Shenandoah Springs, eager for a new life as an organic micro-dairy farmer and cheese-maker. Then her dear cow Petunia’s bellows set the whole town on edge. But it isn’t until Brynn’s neighbor, Nancy, dies in a mysterious fire that her feelings about small town life begin to curdle…

It seems some folks were not happy with Nancy’s plan to renovate the Old Glebe Church. But is a fear of change a motivation for murder? As a newcomer, Brynn can’t ignore the strange events happening just on the other side of her frosty pasture—and soon on her very own farm. Suddenly Christmas doesn’t feel so festive as everyone demands she muzzle sweet Petunia, and Brynn is wondering if someone wants to silence her—for good…

Praise for Mollie Cox Bryan’s mysteries

“A playful charmer!” —Woman’s World on No Charm Intended

“Scrapbookers and hobby cozy fans will enjoy this delightful holiday escape.” —Library Journal on A Crafty Christmas

“A font of ingenuity . . . superb entertainment.” —Mystery Scene magazine on Scrapbook of Secrets