At the Corral, oil on canvas, is inspired by a friend's photo that was posted as an ID when one of the cows came up missing. As soon as I saw it, I knew it would look great in oils with a loose style! Oh, and by the way, the cow belonged to a 4-H student and was found in good condition a couple days later.
Cattle are herd animals. In ancient times, herd animals were the easiest animals to domesticate. Herd animals follow the lead of a dominant member. These natural leaders are the first to cross streams, gullies and other obstacles, showing the others the way. Herd animals stay close together and move together.
The first cow in America arrived in Jamestown in 1611.
Both male and female cows are born with horns (except polled breeds). Sometimes the farmer has the veterinarian remove the horns. A male is called a bull, and a female is called a cow. A heifer is a young female that has never given birth, and a cow is an older female that has given birth. A cow has a long tongue that feels like sandpaper. It helps pull in the grass and hay that she eats. Cows use their tails to swat flies.
Cattle are ruminant animals. They have stomachs with four compartments that allows them to eat grass and hay. Some experts think a cow's digestive system developed as it did for survival. Since bovine animals are hunted animals in the wild, it must eat quickly and eat as much as possible. The grasses the animal eats are stored in the second stomach until it finds a safe place to eat. Then the animal brings up the food, the cud, to chew. A cow spends six hours eating and eight hours chewing its cud each day.
The ears of a cow are much larger than those of humans. They help transfer heat. Breeds that originated in warmer climates have larger ears and looser skin to help their bodies get rid of heat. Some cattle can even use their ears to fan themselves in warm weather. Loose skin also protects the cattle from insect bites.
A female cow has an udder that produces milk after she has given birth to her first calf.
Cows can smell odors up to five miles away. Cows face north or south to graze. They do this all over the world. Wild deer also display this behavior. Cattle are social animals. They all sit down before it rains and huddle together in a circle formation during blizzards.
August 28th, 2016
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