Why are Cows so Loud at Night?

Why Cows Moo at Night

Generally at night cows are very quiet at night, but when they Moo at night, what is that indicating. Cows Moo at night for Several Reasons

  • Romantic – Cows are Looking for a date
  • Mothers can’t find their calf – he’s coming home late
  • Moms are weaning the calves – Kicking them out of the nest
  • Predators – Someone spotted Wylee Coyote
  • Hungry – Pasture didn’t have enough Chicken Nuggets
  • Bulls – Wooing the Ladies with a Night serenade.

Many farmers have learned how to listen to their herds to be able to interpret by the sounds that they are making the status of Cattle.

Cow Whisperer / How Cows Communicate

Cows are very Intelligent Animals. In the Journal Animal Behavior and Cognition – This study found that cows can recognize Friendly people, be pessimistic, be optimistic, and have personality.

They were able to remember farmers that were gentle to them and those that mistreated them. The cattle also would show feelings to protect their calves from strange people and also strange vehicles.

Farmers have noticed some very important characteristics of their herds.

  • Cattle have very good eyesight and excellent peripheral vision. They seem to be most responsive to their vision and what they can see. They want to know where you are, their Blindspot is where that fear or the unknown for the cow.
  • Cattle want to follow the herd. They are very social animals. They will follow each other and will move and go as a group. Farmers with horses and also cattle dogs take advantage f this natural instinct in cattle
  • Cattle only usually can handle one thought at a time, moving to a location, going for water, going toward feed.
  • Cows Normally will go around you. Generally, they are not aggressive but docile and will go around an obstacle, or person rather than going through. Many Campers that have pitched tents in Cow pasture have wakened up with cows wandering through their campsites.

Cows Communicate by Mooing

Cows can see very well at night, better than people. But at night cattle do a lot of their communicating through sound. Hearin each other. The farmer generally also has learned to tell how his flock is by the sounds that the cattle are making.

The average cow sleeps approximately 4 hours out of 24, they do spend a lot of time resting sometimes up to 14 hours a day.

It is thought that cows sleep standing up, but generally, that is not the case. They lay down on their front and back feet. Not on their sides but in an upright position just squatting down.

Cows at night using sounds communicate with each other. Generally, when cows are mooing they are speaking various emotions and communications with the rest of the herd.

Why Do Cows Moo at Night?

Cows Moo at night for several reasons we will explore some of those Night time serenades.

Looking for a Date – Cows

Cows that are looking for a one night stand. Moo to communicate to any available suiters. Cows like most animals go into heat and are looking to be mounted. It is at these time that they are more active at night. Some of the symptoms beside Mooing are

  • Standing, or holding to be mounted
  • Swelling and reddening of their Vulva
  • Chin Resting
  • Back Rubbing
  • Bellowing / Mooing
  • Trailing and following the Bulls
  • Sniffing and licking
  • Mounting other cows
  • Cows come into heat every 21 days
  • Heat can last from 3 – 24 hours
  • She will travel 3 – 4 times as normal looking for a bull

Looking for a Date – Bulls

Men are generally very open to the idea of Romance, but it generally depends on the mood of the ladies. Some of the signs of a Romantic Bull are these

  • Bulls will bellow – signaling to any interested ladies
  • Bulls can get aggressive when cows are in Heat
  • Bulls will fight each other – for dominance
  • At night Moving around through the herd looking for cows in heat.

Weaning – Moms are Kicking Calves out of the Nest

When Cows begin weaning their calves, there is a lot of Mooing going On. The moms shooing their kids away, preventing them from grabbing the teat. And the calves, crying because they are hungry, they want not only the milk but the security of Moms warmth.

We have for years raised Bichon Frise dogs. When it comes time for weaning. You would think that we are killing the puppies. They are whining, crying constantly while they are being weaned. Also Every time they see mom, the crying begins again.

Farmers may be separating the calves to facilitate that weaning. Which sets the stage for a lot od Mooing.

Lost – Separated from the Herd

Cattle are very social animals, have a lot of herd instinct. At Night they gather together, many times lay down to sleep and rest. Any cow that gets separated from the group will moo until they get back with the rest. They could have wandered into another pasture, maybe separated by a fence. The lost one will moo and also others trying to help

A Calf that is separated from its mother will have mom, mooing, and also the calves mooing as they are trying to find their way back to mom. Calves tend to wander and at some time mom wants to know where her kids are at, and if they are safe.

Danger – Predators

Cattle being herd animals, are very protective of each other. They will gather and sleep together for protection. Cows on the perimeter, or bulls protecting the herd, keep an eye out for Predators.

In 2010 The Cattle farmers lost 90 Million Cattle for various reasons. But .23% of the losses were from carnivores that equals 170,800 Cows. Predators include

  • Dogs
  • Coyotes
  • Wolves
  • Vultures
  • Lynx
  • Mountain Lions
  • Bobcats
  • Bears
  • Pumas

Cattle Losses 2010

Cause of DeathPercentage of Total
Respiratory Problems26%
Unknown Reasons18%
Digestive Problems13%
Birth Problems/Calving12%
Metabolic Problems2%
Domestic Dogs.6%
Large Cats.5%
Theft .4%
List Prioritized of Cattle Deaths in 2010

Hungry / Thirsty

If Your Cows are Hungry, maybe they are not getting enough pasture. Simply crying from not getting enough to eat. They also may begin to lose weight, get dehydrated. Maybe your watering trough is dry.

Sick Cows / Gastric Bloat / Colic

Cows can cry from pain, Being sick or suffering in some way some of the things might want to check

  • The cow could be in labor – something not Right
  • Colic – tremendous amount of Gas can build up if they are bloating
  • The cow could be impacted
  • Mastitis – can be extremely Painful
  • Severe Arthritis
  • Lameness
  • Wounds / Sores

Are Cows Active at Night

Not Generally, Cows are pasture animals, they generally spend 6 – 8 Hous a day munching on grass. Their Rumen hold about 50 Gallons of grasses and grazing delectables. They regurgitate it back and forth to chew it.

Do Cows Moo When They are Happy

No, Usually cows moo when they are in some sort of distress. Their response is usually nonverbal. Quiet, some observations of a cow being Happy or content are

  • Chewing Their Cud
  • Calmly Grazing
  • Romping with the other cows
  • Scratching / Rubbing their backs
  • Bright Eyes
  • Shiny Coat
  • Pink Gums

What are Cows Afraid Of

Cows are afraid of Unfamiliar things. Like most prey animals. The only thing cows go after aggressively is grass. They are the prey. So they observe through sight, smell, sounds. Any of those that are new, unfamiliar can seem to be a danger for them and elicit a defensive response.

In the Western Cowboy Movies, you see the cattle stampede, the cattle herd has been spooked, and they run for their life. Complet flight response. Anywhere to getaway. Many a cowboy has been trampled’

Strange Sounds, Lightning, Stange smells, unfamiliar objects, any noises that might be any type of predators

Do Cows Get Lonely

Yes, they do, Cows will bond with other cows, horses, alpacas, deer at night.

Years ago we had a young black Angus steer. We kept him fenced in. He had a lot of Company, But eventually, we had to sell him. We could not keep him penned up, he would get out, we would find him down at the next farm with their cattle. We would bring him back, first chance, he bolted back to the other cattle.

Do Cows Sleep Lying Down

Yes Cows sleep lying down, not on their sides but squatted down on their legs, Still in Upright position. They do their deep sleep fro about 4-6 hours. Cows can sleep lightly standing up. But the are Just dozing.

Some cows have been known to stay in lying down position for up to 14 hours. The reason they are comfortable in that position, they are able to keep chewing their cud and digesting the food that they have eaten. A cow rumen can contain up to 50 Gallons of undigested grasses’

Why Do Calves Moo

Calves moo when separated from their Mothers, They also moo when they are hungry. Wanting Fed. They are children so like kids they like to have fun, wonder, and explore. many times they get separated from their mothers.

A newborn calf will want to eat approximately every 3 or 4 hours. They can eat 6 – 10 times a day. Tapers off as they begin eating grass, they can begin eating other thins at about 2 weeks of age, The young calf is typically weaned by 4-7 months. Generally the longer the better for the calf’s health.

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