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January 30th, 2009

Friday Five: The Dairy Addition

So, in honor of DAIRY PRINCESS, I thought I'd share five random facts about Dairy Farming that you never knew you never knew.

1. Dairy cows often wear necklaces equipped with microchips. They're typically made with either a chain or a nylon band, and there'll be a big plastic "pendant" at the end. When a cow walks up to the grain feeder, the microchip relays which cow it is, and how much grain to dispense. The cow below is wearing one such necklace.

2. Cows can not bite. They do not have teeth in the front, on the bottom. They eat by  using their tongues-- they can reach out and rip grass right out using only their tongue and lips/gums. So a cow will never run at you, teeth bared, like, say, a viscious horse.
3. "Chewing their cud" references that a cow throws up everything it eats. It has four stomachs. The first is a small pouch. The cow "stores" the food there and then throws it up in their mouth, chews it again, and then swallows. Gross, huh?

4. Cows are typically milked three times per day. Some farms still do it only twice, but by increasig the milking to three times, the overall production increases.

5. Cow tipping is virtually impossible. A cow sleeps laying down. (It's a horse that sleeps standing up). So, assuming you are then tipping a cow who is awake, consider this: Dairy cows, as a general rule, are afraid of people. If you approach one, you might get twenty feet away and they'll warily retreat. They are livestock, not pets. Let's not forget you'd need a running start to have enough force to even THINK about tipping the thing over. You think the cow is just going to stand there and watch?

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