Over seventy cows are vying for the chance to come to the 2023 Pennsylvania Farm Show hosted by Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture! Which four cows attend from each herd will be decided by their farmers/caretakers closer to the Farm Show. Currently, the cow contenders for the Calving Corner are on their home farm, with their herdmates (other cows on the farm), eating a especially formulated diet to ensure their health and well being and the health and well being of their calf.
Here are some fun facts about dairy cows:
• While all mammals produce milk, dairy cows specialize in milk production.
• There are seven breeds (kinds) of dairy cattle: Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein, Jersey, and Milking Shorthorns.
• Just like breeds of dogs, each breed of cow has its own unique traits. There are more Holsteins in Pennsylvania than any breed.
• A baby cow is called a calf. More than one baby cow are called calves.
• In order to produce milk, a cow must give birth to a calf.
• When a cow is giving birth, she is calving.
• The average pregnancy (gestation) for a dairy cow is 285 days. Just a little longer than a human.
• Cows have four compartments to their stomach – the rumen, the reticulum, the omasum and abomasum.
• The rumen allows the cow to digest grass, hay and other plants that most animals cannot digest.
• Cows can’t bite! They have molars, like people. However, they do not have top front teeth.
• Regardless of their color, all cows make white milk. Brown cows DO NOT make chocolate milk!
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