Smart Cows!

imagesDo you think animals are smart?  When you think of intelligent animals, do you think about cattle?  Most of us DO NOT think of cattle as being that smart but cattle are intelligent and have distinct personalities.  Some of our cows (both the beef and the dairy) are naturally friendly and seek out human interaction.  Others are more reserved and want to be left alone.  Cattle express fear, pleasure, anger and even gentleness and affection.  Mother cows lovingly tend to their babies, and adult cattle will show affection to one another.  Cattle are “herd” animals.  This means they are meant to live in groups with other cattle.  If you separate or disturb their group or herd, they often become agitated, unhappy, or even mournful.  Calves (babies) and adult cattle all like to run, jump and play at times.  Cattle are also extremely curious. In our Jersey herd, we  have had a few cows that stand out as being full of personality.  Maya was one of my first dairy cows and she was very smart.  She learned how to open the door on the feed room.  Princess is very dramatic.  She gets very irritable when she is pregnant and  close to her delivery date.  Faith loves to be scratched and  hugged but will kick us if she’s in a bad mood.  Tori is shy and prefers not to be touched but would never kick at us.  Patience had to have medication when she was a calf, and learned to open her mouth without being coerced and chew up her pills and swallow them.  These are just a few examples of some of the different character and personality traits of a few of our cows.   untitled   There is a great children’s book about some cows that had a lot of personality!  In the book Click, Clack, Moo: Cow’s that Type, Farmer Brown’s dairy cows send him a typed note requesting electric blankets in the barn.  Farmer Brown has to decide if he is going to give in to the demands of his cows. The story that ensues is sure to bring a smile to the face of those who read it.  The book is available in board book format for the youngest of readers, as well as in the paperback and hardback varieties.

Resources: Teaching Ideas Web English Teacher Lesson Plans Lesson Plans for Click, Clack, Moo Cornerstones Lesson Guide:  PBS

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