Can Cows Swim in Deep Water?

Most mammal species are good swimmers. This basically includes large, medium and small mammals alike. Cows are among the animal species known for their ability to swim. While cows do not swim as well as water species, they have the ability to swim for quite some distance. Additionally, cows can swim in deep water. Although cows are good swimmers, there is risk of drowning if animals get tired among other reasons. This is mostly accurate when large numbers of livestock are involved. As such, ranchers should be aware of how to swim cattle in deep water so as to prevent the occurrence of deadly accidents.

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Swimming Cows in Deep Water

It has been proven multiple times that cows can swim in deep water as they are generally regarded as good swimmers. In fact, various research studies and farmers concur stating that cows have been known to swim especially during the summer season when temperatures are extremely high. Farming practises in some countries require cows to swim yearly in order to reach areas with good pastures. Very few cases of deadly accidents in terms of drowning have been recorded as it is rare for cows to drown when swimming. Studies reveal that most farming systems in countries such as Ireland swim cows across fairly large waterbodies every year to graze. In other areas, ranchers take cows on approximately 100 metre swim every summer. Note that although cows can swim in deep water and are sometimes seen standing in water during the warm season, it is rare for them to voluntarily dive in a water. This is because they are land animals and so it is not in their nature to spend time in the water. As clearly articulated, cows can swim in deep water. Additional proof that cows can swim in deep water was recorded in 2019 when 3 cows made the news upon crossing close to 5 miles of the Atlantic Ocean during Hurricane Dorian in the island of Cedar. Experts state that the cows must possibly have swum the distance between two islands during the storm. As surprising as this was to the agricultural community, it was made clear that cows can swim in deep water and for quite some distance.

How Cows Swim in Deep Water

The fact that cows can swim in deep water is quite interesting. For this reason, agricultural research studies have been conducted to discover how this is possible. Although cows are large species, their bodies allow them to float in water making it quite easy to swim. Their legs paddle and propel across the water. Unlike their cousins, the water buffalos which are known to love and spend an increased amount of time in water, cows do not voluntarily get in water. There are however a few reasons that may force them to take a swim. These include,

  • fleeing and so they can swim to safety
  • following the herd
  • to access new pasture
  • crossing to mate – bull getting into heat
  • farmers driving the herd across

Can Cows Drown Anally?

As mentioned earlier on, cows are good swimmers and have been reported to survive flooding. However, this does not mean that cows cannot drown. Like all animal species, cows can get tired and down. This normally occurs after they have been swimming for longer periods of time or when they are of ill health among other reasons. Research indicates that cows can swim for large distances, crossing lakes and rivers but in strenuous circumstances, they can drown due to exhaustion and high waves. Cows can also drown in fast moving water. One of the most asked questions among consumers is whether cows can drown when their annals are submerged in water. Experts indicate that this is not possible. It is sated that when cows swim, their anus is closed. This is made possible by strong muscles that help to keep the outlet to their digestive system closed. As such, water, air as well as other contaminants are prevented from entering their bodies from the back end. In simple terms, the digestive system of cows is sealed from its mouth until appropriate muscles push the pies out. As such, cows can swim in deep water and it is not common for them to drown.

 Can Cows Swim In the Ocean?

Cows are said to be cousins buffalos, particularly the water buffalo, swamp buffalo and river buffalos which spend most of their time in the water. Therefore, despite being land animals that hardly swim voluntarily, cows can swim in deep water including in an ocean. They have been known to survive hurricanes and in some parts of Scotland, cows can swim between two islands. This seems highly unlikely because of their large physical stature. It is shockingly their large bodies that help to keep them afloat and they tend to doggie paddle across the water body. Experts state that cows can even swim in water that is over their heads, though for a limited timeframe. An important point to note is that cows are not necessarily taught to swim but tend to do so naturally. They only swim when they have to and mostly for survival purposes.

As proven, cows can swim in deep water and for long distances. Cows often cross rivers and lakes; to add on instances of cows swimming and surviving in the ocean have been recorded. Although they are land animals and are often not exposed to large water bodies, cows are able to swim quite fast when the need arises. Cows are normally not taught how to swim but are born with the natural instinct to do so. Cows have been recorded to survive some of the world’s greatest disasters, including Hurricane Dorian. However, despite of their superior swimming skills, they can become exhausted and drown. It is generally recommended for farmers to acquire skills on how to swim livestock in order to avoid drowning, particularly when large numbers are involved. This is a fairly easy skill to acquire since cows can swim in deep water and are naturally regarded as great swimmers.