M is for Moo! Why do cows moo?

dairy farmer in the barn with

I’ve had lots of cow-related suggestions for the A to Z series — so many that I think some friends may do a whole cattle series next year! Just think, there is alfalfa, beef, cheese, dairy, etc. but I decided to go for a simple word on cows and its probably the first thing I ever learned about cows. The sound they make (at least for Americans) is moo!

My first trip to a dairy farm was a year and a half ago. And even though I’d seen cows along the levees now and then, and had been to a livestock show, I hadn’t been to many farms where cattle were the major thrust of the operation or the conversation for me.

Dairy cows in the barnThe visit included several different conversations that were so basic. We of course talked through what do cows eat as we watch them much their rations. But something that I didn’t expect was how quiet the barns were. I found myself to be the only one mooing! Ray was nice enough to tell me cows only moo when they are scared or something is wrong, so I guess they are happy cows!

You can see a bit of video I shot and you can hear Ray and I although you won’t hear much from the cows!

cattle grazing on the prairieThen this fall as I was on beef cattle ranches I saw the saw things as cows on the pasture were relaxed and curious. And they were silent. And believe me, seeing that many redheads that quiet…. well, it was staggering!

Then, when I worked cows in the Dakotas with the Wagners and watched as the Hadricks wean cows (golly gee that makes me sound like I actually know something about cattle doesn’t it?!) I saw the louder mooing end of the spectrum.

How to Learn More About Cows

There are a lot of farm bloggers out here who write about their experiences and the cattle on their farms & ranches. All the ones mentioned above write about it occasionally.

  • Val Wagner (who has all those redheaded cows and four sons) writes her Wag’n Tales several times a week! 
  • Ray Prock needs a nudge now and then to get writing. 🙂
  • Stacy Hadrick finds time to post now and then about their ranch and her cowboy.

Some of the other ones I know well include:

A to Z Agriculture blog post series


N, O, P, Q and R are for ____

I’d love to know what your thoughts are on loams and other soils. This week I will be writing M, N, O, P, Q and R posts. Yes, we are on the downward slope will be brought to you by the group of letters I mentioned, so what do you think the word of the day should be each day this week?

See the other posts in this series by clicking on the logo at right and reviewing the letters, or by browsing the A to Z ag tag archives.

About Janice Person

I'm Janice & this blog is about my passions -- photography, travel, agriculture & whatever else comes to mind. Putting all those things together is intriguing to me…. I can spend a lot of time soaking it up! It's almost always a colorful adventure!

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14 Responses to M is for Moo! Why do cows moo?

  1. Richard Hallows April 15, 2013 at 2:11 am #

    Hi. Just visiting from A2Z challenge. I live next to a dairy farm – there are elements of it that are less than pleasant – slurry pits spring to mind – along with the smell of old bedding straw!! Perhaps the strangest thing is that when I moved in I thought I would never be able to sleep through the sound of the milking machine starting at 4.30 a.m. Now I wake up if there is not the sound of the milking machine starting at 4.30 a.m.!

    • Janice Person April 15, 2013 at 7:39 am #

      Thanks for stopping by! That is too funny! I know what you mean about drawbacks. They happen in every neighborhood, mine is the sound of traffic, the fact you need blinds closed due to lights, etc. once I lived near an airport and the train tracks…. Drove guests nuts and I never heard any of it, but someone talking? Watch out!

  2. Sheethal Susan Jacob April 15, 2013 at 3:33 am #

    Moooo………..;) Great post!

    -Fellow blogger from A to Z!


  3. Shirletta Armstrongs April 15, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    Moo-valous post! 🙂

    Shirletta @ Shirleyisnotmyname

    • Janice Person April 15, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

      LOL! Love it! Moovalous indeed! And what a great way to help people know not to change your name! And don’t call me Shirley would have been too Leslie Nielson like. 🙂

  4. Jessica April 21, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

    This was very interesting. I never realized cows only made noise when they were scared. Thanks for the lesson.

    Have fun with a-z.

    • Janice Person April 21, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

      Well scared or have something wrong. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, will check out what you have going too!

  5. martha fink May 23, 2014 at 6:01 am #

    This morning one of my Jersey cows was mooing and I could not sleep because I was worried something was wrong. I looked out and saw her and she looked fine. She has another Jersey with her and i saw her also. Sometimes I think she is trying to communicate with the cows that live several pastures away from our farm. I grew up on a farm but moved away and 2 years ago was lucky enough to be able to move back to a farm. Just got the cows 5 months ago and love them. So sweet and innocent.

    • Janice Person May 27, 2014 at 7:48 am #

      Congratulations Martha! I am sure that sense of accomplishment will give you a lot of enthusiasm for the hard work you have going on! Enjoy the farm!

  6. Lynn September 24, 2014 at 9:22 pm #

    Janice, I really like your A to Z for agriculture saga! I feel like readers can learn so much from it and it has inspired to adapt to my own version to post on my blog specifically focused on my family’s dairy farm. It shocks me that I actually didn’t know why cows moo (yep, a farm kid didn’t know…), but now I do and I truly feel smarter because of it! I know the saga of the agriculture A to Z challenge is done, but what about doing something for each of the breeds of dairy cow that would be cool! Haha, now you got me brainstorming, I can’t wait to see what else I come up with! 🙂

    • Janice Person September 24, 2014 at 9:25 pm #

      awesome! Be sure you let me know how it goes!


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