Cow Tipping: CSI Edition
"Have you ever went cow-tipping?"
I get asked this alot, being from the farm and living in the city. And my answer was always "no .... I have no idea why I would." And then the inevitable question would surface .....
"Is it true??"
I would always laugh and say that I'd imagine not. But then some guy will tout that he has INDEED went cow-tipping and insist that I am wrong. So to settle this, I decided I must go out and dissprove this Urban Legend.
Prep TimeGathering a crack team of ambitious urban legend scientists - Brian, and Erin - we head out after a large number of rye and cokes.
Now to start, I decide that it might be a good idea to 'diguise' myself as a fellow cow. Just in case one wakes up before I get the chance to get close. That way it can wake up and be like "hey buddy .... I think I heard something....." and I can be like "I didn't hear anything - go back to sleep."
Yes, I am like a cow-tipping jedi ninja.
Why This is the Most Urban of the Urban LegendsOkay, here are the main points we collected in order to disprove cow-tipping:
- Cows don't sleep standing up! There is no such thing as a cow “locking its legs.” They don’t have to because cows sleep lying down (people may be confusing them with horses which do sleep standing up). Now your grandma, SHE sleeps standing up ..... it's weird.
- Cows don’t sleep for hours at a time like people do. The sleeping habits of cattle developed when they were prey animals hunted by predators. Most of their “sleeping” is very light—more what we would consider a very relaxed state. This kind of sleep is easily interrupted and allows them to be aware of their surroundings. Just picture me trying to sleep in jail. Cows also need about an hour of a deeper kind of sleep which they take in short naps of a few minutes each spread over a 24 hour period. Because each individual cow spends so little time in deep sleep most cows in a herd are alert even at night.
- Cows are extemely alert. They still have the characteristics that kept them alive when they were wild animals avoiding predators. They have eyes on the side of their heads so they can see in all directions and ears as big as feet for purposes of detecting possible attackers. One alerted animal easily transfers its concern to the others in the herd. I hope that if I ever go to jail, I have a cow cell-mate. And I'd give it packs of cigarettes to remain alert.
- Cows are much bigger than most people realize. In the unlikely event that a cow would stand still as you approached, is it even possible to simply shove one over? No. The black and white spotted Holstein—by far the most common dairy cow—could easily weigh more than 10 times what a potential cow tipper weighs. The cows can weigh 1500 to 1800 pounds, and the bulls can weigh over a ton! Cows are also used to responding to pushes and shoves from the rest of the animals in the herd. The top of a Holstein’s back can be five feet or more high. Plus a cow has the advantage of standing on four feet instead of two feet.
Thanks to bored scientists, we even have a little bit of math for you:
If you’d like to know what tipping a cow would be like, try tipping over a refrigerator with a single shove. It would take a shove of 35 pounds of force to tip a typical home refrigerator. But a cow weighs about 8 times as much as a refrigerator! You’d first need to pack the refrigerator with 900 pounds of lead weights to duplicate the cow tipping effect. AND it has a lower center of gravity AND is on four legs. Good Luck Superman.
Personal ExperienceBesides not EVEN GETTING CLOSE to tipping a cow (even when I went after the younger steers .... I'm sure there's a Michael jackson joke there), we had the experiment end HORRIBLY WRONG. Something that will be a lesson to other tippers ..... (press play below)