Elf-shooting is a disease from which cows suffer.

From a 1938 school book transcribed by the Dúchas Project, the digital archives of the National Folklore Project at UC Dublin:

Elf-shooting is a disease from which cows suffer. They are supposed to have been hit by a piece of flint thrown by a fairy.

The cow lies down moaning. Her eyes get swollen and water runs from her mouth.

A person who has the cure for "Elf shooting" is sent for. He proceeds to make the cure. He first measure her from the tail to between the horns using his arm from the elbow to tips of his fingers as a measure. He then cuts the tops of her horns and pieces from her cleats. He takes a sod from the roof of the byre, he lights it and when burning well it is passed three times round the cow's body. Then the pieces of horns and cleats with some hair from the cow are burned under her head the smoke going round her head. Soon she begins to get lively and in a short time is able to take a drink. Then she is all-right.

Seems legitimate. Gotta watch out for those flying faery flints.

Elf-Shooting [Urbal Scoil / Dúchas Project]

Image: Public Domain via Pexels Read the rest

'Wanted: Unknown Cow.' Florida cow on the loose sought by authorities

The Pembroke Pines Police Department tweeted:

“Wanted: Unknown Cow.”

“Description: Female cow. Brown with a white head. Faster than it looks. Talented fence jumper. Enjoys pools.” Read the rest

How cows use their unique voices to cowmoooonicate

For five months, University of Sydney PhD student Alexandra Green spent time in the field, literally, with 18 Holstein-Friesian heifers, recording and studying their sounds. While it's been known that cow moms and calves use unique vocalizations with one another, Green confirmed that cattle "also maintain individual voices in a variety of emotional situations," from chow time to periods when they are isolated from the others in the herd. From the University of Sydney:

Cows ‘talk’ to one another and retain individual identity through their lowing...

The conclusion of the research is that farmers should integrate knowledge of individual cow voices into their daily farming practices.

“We found that cattle vocal individuality is relatively stable across different emotionally loaded farming contexts,” Ms Green said...

“We hope that through gaining knowledge of these vocalisations, farmers will be able to tune into the emotional state of their cattle, improving animal welfare,” Ms Green said.

"Vocal individuality of Holstein-Friesian cattle is maintained across putatively positive and negative farming contexts" (Scientific Reports via Atlas Obscura)

image: Lynne Gardner/University of Sydney

(Thanks to University of Sydney for inspiring the headline!)

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Cattle guard doesn't work

Cattle guards are designed to keep cows from crossing them. They don't work if the cow is as smart as this one.

When it's not your first cattle guard

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Cows painted like zebras keep flies from biting them

Zebras may have evolved their distinctive stripes as a way to interfere with flies' vision. Flies have difficulty landing on black-and-white surfaces because the light polarization screws up their ability  to decelerate.

Recently, researchers in Japan painted black cows with zebra-like white stripes and discovered that flies stay away from them. Whoever painted the cows did good work, they look dapper.

From CNN:

A team of Japanese researchers recruited six cows and gave them each black-and-white stripes, black stripes and no stripes. They took photos of the cow's painted right side, counting the number of bites as they happened and watching how the cows reacted.

While unpainted cows and cows with black stripes endured upward of 110 bites in 30 minutes, the black-and-white cows suffered fewer than 60 in the same period, researchers found.

Image: PLOS/Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Read the rest

Adding pink seaweed to cow feed eliminates their methane emissions

One of the major contributors to greenhouse gases is the methane that cows belch up as they break down cellulose, but five years ago, research from Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) found that adding small amounts of a pink seaweed called Asparagopsis to cows' diets eliminated the gut microbes responsible for methane production and "completely knocks out" cows' methane emissions. Read the rest

Cow Army occupies Stockport

Residents of Stockport, England, were "awoken by mooing" recently after a herd of cows invaded the neighborhood: "It's just done a poo." Read the rest

Cow enjoys being petted like a dog

? Want to boop that beef snoot so bad. Read the rest

Revenge of the dead cow

A man working in an Aalen, Germany slaughterhouse was hospitalized with serious injuries last month after being kicked in the face by a cow. The curious thing is that the cow had already been "“killed according to regulations." It was hanging from a meathook when the attack occurred.

According to the Associated Press, police reported that the kick was "due to a nerve impulse that experts say isn’t uncommon."

(Weird Universe)

(glitched image of: "Cow (Swiss Braunvieh breed)" by Daniel Schwen) Read the rest

Cyclops cow worshipped in West Bengal

A cow born with just one eye and no real nose was recently born in Bardhaman, West Bengal, India.

According to, er, The Sun, a local source said that "Ever since the calf was born, the people have crowded to see it. They are now considering it to be a miracle of God and have started worshipping it. The cow had been discarded by its mother and the women are feeding the cow. The people think that worshipping the cow is going to bring luck and prosperity to the family of whoever worships it."

The animal appears to suffer from cyclopia, a rare "congenital disorder (birth defect) characterized by the failure of the embryonic prosencephalon to properly divide the orbits of the eye into two cavities. Its incidence is 1 in 16,000 in born animals and 1 in 250 in embryos," according to the Brain Catalogue.

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Doja Cat gets herself a viral hit with bovine-meme video 'Mooo!'

Doja Cat has declared herself a cow, a hamburger-eating one at that, in her recently-released, now-viral music video titled "Mooo!."

Noisey on the 22-year-old Los Angeles-based pop singer:

The track starts inauspiciously, a chintzy nursery rhyme about cows set to pixel art visuals, but bouncing anime boobs in the background quickly let you know you're in for something different. But Doja Cat's “Mooo!” isn’t your average viral song. It goes hard... “Bitch, I’m too smooooth / I’m not in the mooood / Tryna make moooves,” she says on the hook... “Got milk, bitch? Got beef?” she taunts. This wasn’t an accidental sensation. This girl had bars, and judging by the DIY nature of the video, she understood the formula for virality. The genre-bending producer Sango let the newcomers—myself included—in on a little secret tweeting, “Moo by Doja Cat is just a set up for y’all to listen to her other stuff because she’s actually a great singer and songwriter.” Were we bamboozled?

As it turns out, Doja Cat is indeed more than just a viral video. In March, she released Amala—her real first name—a 13-track compilation of what she considers to be “ice cream truck” music.

Read: An Interview with "Mooo!" Maker Doja Cat, Rap's New Dairy Queen

Thanks, Sunny! Read the rest

Criminal corralled by crime-fighting cows

Last week, a Florida woman (because of course she’s from Florida) was caught rolling around in a stolen SUV. There was a chase! There was a crash! In an effort to escape her police entourage, 46-year old Jennifer Anne Kaufman left the other occupants of her pilfered ride behind and took off on foot. As she fled across a farmer's field, Kaufman could likely hear the sirens of the prowl cars that had been chasing her. The helicopter that the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office called in to help hunt her down? No way she’d have missed that.

Kaufman did not, however, account for the cows.

Rural crime is a serious issue: everyone’s gotta do their part, even livestock.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, after the cows and Seminole County Sheriff’s deputies took Kaufman and her pals, who were good enough to stick around, into custody, they had a chance to search the stolen SUV and discovered "…more than a gram of cocaine, a crack pipe, syringes and a metal spoon."

That’ll do cows. That’ll do.

Yeah, I know that it's more likely that the cattle were either curious or expecting to be fed by a human tromping through their field. But honestly, in a world so full of hate, violence and unspeakable dangers, I need to believe that, when faced with a situation like this one, a cow can be relied upon to rise up and mete out justice, that we all might sleep just a little bit easier. Read the rest

Nativity cow in second bid for freedom

Stormy the cow was recaptured after again escaping the Philadelphia nativity scene in which she is imprisoned. The bovine's second bid for freedom ended after she was found about a block away from the Old City historical neighborhood. Her first saw her reach the I-95 highway, where police surrounded her with cars and summoned a "cow expert" -- do they mean a farmer? -- to help return her to the festive corrall.

There is already a Stormy the Escaped Nativity Cow Twitter account.

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Miracle calf in India born with "human" face!

Holy cow! A calf in Uttar Pradesh, India was born with a human face, leading some people to worship it as an incarnation of the god Vishnu. Unfortunately, the animal died an hour after birth. From India.com:

Unfortunately, the deformed calf could not survive and died in an hour, but that did not stop the locals from celebrating the birth of the cow with a human face, which they believe is an incarnation of God. They believe the dead calf is the ‘Gokaran’, 24 incarnations of Lord Vishnu. In fact, the religious believers now plan to build a temple for him.

Raja Bhaiya Mishra, 55, the manager of the cow shelter (where the animal was born), was quoted saying, ‘It’s a miracle that the calf was born in this shelter. Thousands of people have been here to see it. We will be cremating him in three days, and a temple will be built for him. This avatar has most definitely created a devotion feeling amongst the people.’

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Why did all these cows jump off a cliff to their deaths?

Last month, a dozen young cows in Levron, Switzerland mysteriously leapt off a cliff and plummeted to their deaths 165 feet below. A thirteenth cow survived the jump by landing on the others. From Mysterious Universe:

The calves, 13 Hérens aged 6-8 months, were found at the bottom of a 50 meter (165 foot) drop and all were dead except for the one on top, which was taken to an animal hospital in nearby Cern where it was treated for a broken jaw. The rest were cremated at a meat waste facility, to the dismay of a local animal warden who wanted to inspect them to help determine why they leaped to their deaths...

Norbert Terrettaz, president of a local farming insurance company, suspects the cows were chased or spooked by a wolf, a lynx or a dog. However, that doesn’t explain the fact that there were no scratches or bites on the corpses, no tracks or spores on top of the cliff and no explanation for why the yaks didn’t run too – either off the cliff or, after hearing the splats, in the opposite direction.

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Turtle vs. Herd of Cows

Who would win in a fight between a turtle-sized turtle and a dozen cow-sized-cows? [via r/funny.] Read the rest

Cow family survives New Zealand quake

Three cows were spotted huddled on a column of earth this weekend after a 7.5-magnitude quake struck New Zealand. Two people and many animals were killed in the disaster and its aftershocks. Read the rest

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