Do you have an irrational fear that a cow might be able to jump over a fence and get at you? Perhaps you own cattle and want to know how high to build fencing to stop the cows jumping over it? Regardless, you will want to know how high cows and bulls can jump.
How high can a cow jump? Some cows can jump as high as 4 feet to 5 feet. However, most cattle and bulls can jump around two to three feet off the ground from a running start.
Most people would assume that cows and bulls are too large and heavy to jump up and reach this high. However, there are many recorded instances of cows jumping this high and far. Here’s one on YouTube as an example.
How high can a bull jump?
I bet you’ve many times seen bulls running. But jumping? Have you ever wondered if that’s even a “bull thing”? If that’s the question on your mind, you’re in the right place.
Trained or frightened bulls can jump higher than 7 feet. Bulls are stronger, fitter and larger than cows, hence being able to jump higher in extreme circumstances.
More on cattle and cows jumping high
I’ll share more about how high cows jump and what makes them jump despite their size. What’s the highest a cow has ever jumped? Stay with me as I walk you through these.
Imagine getting home after a busy day. Upon entering your compound, you notice something’s off about your roof. A part of the roof is pretty damaged, with some tiles on the ground. And what’s the first thought that comes to your mind?
A burglar on your property.
Only for your neighbor to share a picture of a cow on your roof ﹘ a roof that’s 6 feet high! The “burglar” was none other than your beloved cow.
Sounds unbelievable, right?
Well, this scenario happened in real life some years back. The incident went viral online and left many (me included) speechless.
Yes, I knew cows could jump. But not that high.
The average height a cow can jump is between 4 to 5 feet. These animals are fantastic jumpers. Don’t let their body size tell you otherwise.
Jumping has got to be one of the most beautiful athletic activities cows can do. A cow once jumped a fence that was 7 feet high, as shown in this video. This jump record is the highest a cow has ever reached.
But if you’ve watched cows strolling, you’ll notice they rarely jump over obstacles.
Jumping requires cows to use so much energy to lift themselves from the ground. And they find this exhausting. So, even when there’s an obstacle on their way, most cows would rather find an alternative route than jump.
A cow can jump over 5 feet high depending on a few factors and under special circumstances:
A cow’s level of physical fitness determines how high they can jump up
It’s not just humans that need exercise to keep fit. Exercise is good for our farm friends, too.
Of course, cows can’t do much because they aren’t as flexible as we are. So what’s the best way to make cows exercise and stay fit? Allow them to walk and run regularly.
Give cows a chance to stretch their legs. Don’t lock them in their barns all day.
Walk your cows as you hunt for new pasture spots for them. Have a spacious outdoor space where they can play when in the mood. Watch how excited this cow is as it runs after an exercise ball in the field.
Break their routine and provide more movement opportunities. Make their lives exciting and physically active.
Physical activity in cows also keeps joint problems away. Fit cows are more likely to jump higher heights than cows that spend most of their time indoors.
You can try to be creative and introduce jump exercises. Cows are curious. They’ll want to try out something that feels different.
Start simple. Set up basic stepping stones in the middle of the field where your cows graze. Or put up decent-sized wooden fences supported with ground poles on both sides.
When your cows seem to be in the mood to play, grab the opportunity. Make them jump over these structures. Be calm when leading them through these jump exercises.
These exercises are a great way to keep your cows fit. You’ll slowly build their confidence to jump with rhythm and balance.
Also remember, when they make the slightest progress, call it a day. Don’t push too hard by rushing to set unrealistic heights for your cows.
Let them first get used to jumping over small heights for a while before going higher.
Be patient with your cows. You’re teaching them a new “habit”, and it will take time before they get used to it. Don’t expect to fix all their jumping mistakes in one exercise session.
Frightening situations make cows jump high
A cow in complete panic mode will do the unexpected, including jumping barriers over 5 feet tall. And why is that? Adrenaline. A cow’s adrenaline level goes up when it encounters a scary situation.
This hormone increases a cow’s ability to run at full speed and jump heights they wouldn’t reach in normal circumstances. Similar to how you’d jump over a high fence when a dog is chasing you and later wonder how you managed to do that.
Frightened cows are always staring at their surroundings, so they can be alert and ready to flee from danger.
These out-of-the-blues jumps are risky for cows, though. A cow might lose its balance when jumping and get severe injuries.
In a rather unfortunate incident back in 2017, 12 cows died after jumping off a cliff. These cows were running away from a predator they had spotted when grazing.
I’ve mentioned this to show you that a cow trying to escape from a threatening situation will do an “athletic” jump out of fear﹘ and this never ends well.
Trained cows can jump higher
Yes, you read that right. Just like a horse, you can train a cow to jump high heights.
See how this young girl from New Zealand taught her dairy cow to jump heights of up to 4.5 feet. She started by arranging log piles for her cow to jump over. And with time, the cow had learned how to jump over high barriers.
Training cows to jump high like horses
Trained cows can jump heights higher than 5 feet. Training challenges cows to jump to levels they couldn’t before.
In this video, you’ll also see how this cow owner trained her cow for two years to jump like a horse.
It’s not that cows truly enjoy jumping over obstacles. But when motivated enough, they can surprise you.
Did you know that Finland holds cow jumping contests? People get to watch cows jumping over obstacles as though they’re horses on a racetrack. It must be an iconic moment for these cows!
How strong a cow’s legs are determines jumping height
Cows develop weak legs because of different health conditions. Or when they don’t feed well.
Strong legs support a cow’s weight when jumping. They give a cow the perfect balance when jumping heights between 4 to 5 feet ﹘ and not have a terrible landing.
A cow with weak legs will struggle to jump more than 4 feet high.
Handy Hint: Cows like to lick salt blocks, and it might not be as bad for them as you would think.
How excited a cow is effects how high cattle jump
Cows can’t contain their excitement when happy﹘ they’ll let the universe know. And what’s their way of saying “I’m happy”? They jump while running.
A cow’s level of excitement dictates how high it will jump. In this heartwarming video, you’ll see cows jumping to different heights after the owner released them to graze in the field. It’s obvious some of these cows are over the moon than others and love their owners.
Can cows jump higher than horses?
No, cows cannot jump higher than horses. Horses take the crown when it comes to jumping high. Horses jump as high as 8 feet.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Guinness World Record recognizes this as the highest jump record a horse has ever attained.
The highest jump record for a cow, that still stands to date, is 7 feet. Unlike cows, horses have more experience in jumping.
Why do cows jump on grass?
Cows love the thrill of jumping on outdoor grounds they’re used to. In addition, grass provides a better supportive surface for cows when jumping.
How high can a longhorn cow jump?
A longhorn cow can jump as high as 5 feet tall.
The next time you wander near a fence with some cows behind it, don’t be too concerned that they might be inclined to jump over it.
Most cows won’t jump over fences, and cannot jump that high, unless they take a run up and really, really, want to make that leap!
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- What baby cows like to drink aside from milk
Image in header via https://pixabay.com/photos/cow-cattle-livestock-dairy-cow-5717276/