Can Cows Swim? Do Cows even Like Water And Enjoy Floating?

Cows Swim: Can Cows Swim? When we talk about our mammals, you will always learn some interesting facts about them.

Cows can be very big, slow, heavy, and even awkward animals in some ways.

Due to their weight, it seems almost impossible to some of us that they can swim or tread water, but I’ve watched them do it, so it prompted me to perform further research.

So, can cattle truly swim? Yes, cattle can swim, even from a very tender age. Herders usually employ horses to guide cows across a river when changing pastures. Some cattle do even enter the water and swim without anyone asking them to do so.

Some species are known to have a natural proficiency or instinct to float on water. The same applies to cows, and surprisingly even a very young calf can swim at short lengths.

Learning to Swim

If a young calf can swim, it makes you want to wonder if cows have to learn to swim. Thankfully, much research was carried out on various mammals regarding swimming, so the
scientists have a couple of information on this topic.

According to an aquatic locomotion expert, Frank Fish, mammals tend to float at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. It implies that if they can float, they can surely swim. Source

Judging by that statement, you can reasonably conclude that the opposite is also true. Therefore, If a mammal can swim, it can float. Hence, cows can float and swim. They possess the natural ability to tread water and can typically do so from their infant stage. The distance mammals can swim to will depend solely on their strength and fitness at that given time.

Now, you know that cows can float and swim, which leads to the question, “do cows even like swimming?”

Cows don’t like these two things, being hot and dealing with biting insects, just like many other mammals would dislike a thing. However, if water is accessible, a cow can solve itsproblems.

Can Cows Swim Do Cows even Like Water And Enjoy Floating
Can Cows Swim Do Cows even Like Water And Enjoy Floating

Do Cows even Like Water And Enjoy Floating?

Many cattle love rivers and find pleasure in stumbling in bodies of water to chill out and avoid biting insects. Cows commonly only swim when they have a specific destination to attain.

Most cows will settle for whatever water is available when there isn’t a lake, river, or pond nearby, so is this for the dairy cows, for example, making excellent use of the water trench to
chill out on a warm day!

Water Safety with Cows

Some cows like swimming and just because nature permits them to. Therefore, you should take the utmost care with your cows whenever they try to jump into water unnecessarily. It is
also possible to teach them to like swimming but do so carefully.

Anytime your cow is exposed to an open body of water, ensure that it can easily enter and exit. The fact that cows can swim doesn’t mean they can swim to just any length.

On no account should you take so much time to rescue your cow whenever it falls into the water because it needs to get out before it becomes exhausted and drowns? Mostly, natural bodies of water will have sloping banks that will enable a cow to swim to shore and leave the water easily.

Artificial bodies of water, like swimming pools and irrigation ditches, usually have much steeper sides that enable a cow to find itself in the water; it may have trouble exiting.

Like the popular saying that, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Building a fence around your swimming pool and any irrigation ditches will help to prevent such accidents from happening.

Famous Swimming Cows

The Cows of Crom are the famous cows in the UK. A group of cattle situated on the Crom Estate on land is surrounded by a network of rivers that develop islands. On a routine basis,
these cattle are sometimes encouraged to transfer from the current pastures or grazing areas to another grazing yard by swimming across the river.

Do you know that cows are experienced swimmers and easily make the 100m trek about 328 feet? When new cattle are introduced to the herd, more experienced cows lead the way, entering the water first and paving ways for the new swimmers to gain confidence to imitate and cross. (Source)

Dorian’s Disappearing Cows

Dorian’s Disappearing Cows
Dorian’s Disappearing Cows

Hurricane Dorian wreaked havoc in a country in the Caribbean, the Bahamas, in 2019. While the Bahamas seemed to have accepted the worst, Dorian left behind a wide path of
destruction. A cluster of cattle roamed Cedar Island just after Hurricane Dorian hit North Carolina. According to a park ranger, the three cows were not native inhabitants of the island because it was believed that they probably originated from the mainland during the storm and somehow managed to float the 2 – 3 miles out to the island.

Not only did these cattle swam almost 3 miles, but they would also have accomplished that in very rough weather. That was quite an amazing feat! (Source)

So, at what length max can a cow swim? Most cattle will not be able to swim long distances without any previous experience. Three cows could swim 3 miles from North Carolina to
Cape Lookout National Seashore during Hurricane Dorian two years back(2019).

In India, where cows are traditional, many farmers partake, but cattle races differ by region. The practice is saturated in tradition because they usually train their valued cows for competition; several farmers also use swimming as an exercise. The sport reduces stress on the cows and will still be a great way to increase muscle tone and improve cardiovascular performance, the same way for human athletes.


Meanwhile, cows are traditionally water-borne animals; yet they can swim and float. Some even it as a pleasure.

I hope this keeps you at ease whenever you see a cow wading in a pond or any other kind of water, so the next time you see a cow chilling out, remember that as long as it doesn’t seem to be in distress, it should be in good condition in the water.

Thanks for reading ”can Cows Swim”.

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