Now, we know that cows do not look like the most athletic of animals, and they do seem to prefer to spend their days lazing around. But if you’ve ever seen a cow hightailing across the paddock, you can’t fail to be amazed at their turn of speed! But just how speedy are our bovine friends?
How Fast Can a Cow Run?
A cow can run at an average speed of 17 miles per hour, although it cannot maintain this speed for long periods. If startled, they will set off at their top speed, but soon slow to a more sustainable pace. Some breeds and types of cattle are faster than others.
Do All Cows Run at the Same Speed?
The speed of a cow will vary according to its breed, size, age, and gender. A young cow with a slender physique will be much faster than an adult cow with a calf at foot.
Modern cows are bred for improved muscle mass, especially beef cattle. This means that they are incredibly strong, but cannot move at high speeds.
What Is the Fastest Breed of Cow?
Sadly, there is no real information available about the speed of different breeds of cows, as their athletic ability is not normally considered to be important. I did find this incredible video of the tallest cow in the world – check out her size!
If you’ve got a particularly speedy cow, we’d love to hear about it!
How Fast Do Cows Walk?
Cows are leisurely walkers, preferring to amble along rather than a quick march. The average speed at which a cow walks is 2 miles per hour, around half the speed of a human. If startled or hurried along, they will break into a trot rather than attempting a faster walk.
Do Cows Chase People?
Cows are generally very amenable and not bothered by humans. They are prey animals and have no natural instincts to chase other animals or people.
However, in some circumstances, cows will chase people. If you are walking through a field of cows it is important to survey the situation carefully first to keep yourself safe.
A cow with a young calf at foot will be very protective of its baby and is highly likely to chase any person that gets close. It is always a good idea to give a cow and calf a wide berth, and never be tempted to walk between them or pet the calf.
Young cows can also be very inquisitive and will follow people across a field or yard. They don’t mean any malicious harm, but a group of adolescent cows stalking you can be quite intimidating!
Frequently Asked Questions About Running Cows
Now we’ve got you thinking about the speed of your bovine companions, let’s find out some more fascinating facts about how fast a cow can run!
In proportion to its size, the cow is not a fast animal. Other animals of similar size can run much faster, and maintain high speeds for much longer periods. For example, a racehorse can sprint at around 44 miles per hour, and a buffalo can maintain a speed of 35 miles per hour for up to 5 hours. Compare that to the cow’s average speed of 17 miles an hour!
An average-sized full-grown cow will run at around 17 miles per hour. Some cows have been recorded at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour.
Cows might be slow compared to other animals, but they can easily outrun a person. The average speed of a human is between 6.2 and 8.7 miles per hour, and the vast majority of cows can reach double this speed.
The fastest human on record is Usain Bolt, who has been recorded running at a speed of 27.8 miles per hour. While this is faster than the top speed recorded for a cow, we’d like to see him reach this speed running across our cow field!
A human cannot outrun a cow, so if a cow chases you then you need to take alternative action. Most cows will not continue to chase if they think you are not a threat, so stay calm and walk away slowly. Don’t turn your back on the cow, and head for the nearest barrier or shelter.
If you do need to run, then make quick turns to confuse the cow and gain an advantage. If you have a dog, let go of the leash, as this will give you both the best chance of a safe escape.
Overall, it seems that cows are fairly lazy and stoic animals, who cannot reach the impressive speeds of other similar-sized animals.
But to be on the safe side, stay out of fields with new mothers or herds of juvenile cows!