Can cows predict bad weather?

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lex law

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Can cows predict bad weather?
« on: 11/08/2009 18:30:02 »
lex law  asked the Naked Scientists:
Hey Dr Chris
Longtime listener first time emailer.
My ex miltary husband told me he was taught in training when the cows in a field lay down that bad weather was on its way and to find shelter. Is there any truth in this?
Ps i love your podcasts, love them!

thank you


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Offline stereologist

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Can cows predict bad weather?
« Reply #1 on: 11/08/2009 22:01:49 »
This is a common claim. Over the years I've seen cattle toying with people by standing and laying down in varying weather conditions. I think a dairy or beef farmer might be the best at answering this question.


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Can cows predict bad weather?
« Reply #2 on: 11/08/2009 22:19:57 »
Many animals and insects are used as weather barometers, and the cow is one of them. Aside from the one you have heard of, laying down for rain, they are use their tale to tell us that rain and thunder may be on the way.

When the weather gets warmer and more humid, an indicator of approaching bad weather, flies become more active and swarm around the cows I believe to lay eggs in their hide. This causes the cows to increase the swashing of their tale.