Can cows go down stairs? It is believed that cows and horses can not go downstairs. You are probably here because you are curious to know how true is that?
And if not what makes it difficult for them to go downstairs? As they have eyes to see feet to walk then what makes this easy task a hard nut to crack?
Well, the answer to this question
can a cow go downstairs? Yes, they can but it is not easy for them they will probably need humanitarian aid to perform this daunting task. It scares them and they will try their best to avoid this. Going upstairs is comparatively easier but going down is hard because of a few reasons.
Why is it hard for cows to walk downstairs? Biology or Fear?
Biology and fear, both, actually in the case of cows and horses. Have you ever wondered what makes going down and upstairs easy for humans? Well, our body structure and our ability to see up, down here and there. Like humans, cows have eyes too but their body structure and their face make it difficult for them to see while going downstairs. So the one reason is they can’t look at the ground at their feet and the other reason is their body structure does not allow them to shift this much weight both at the front and the back legs as going up and downstairs make you shift weight between your feet.
The other reasons why going downstairs a daunting task for cows
- Stairs are made for humans, not for animals like cows and horses. They are designed to suit human legs only.
- Fear. Yes, they are afraid of stairs as they are used to walking on plain surfaces and they have never come across stairs in their entire life.
- The distance between the front and back legs. Their back legs will be a few steps higher than the front ones so it would be difficult for them to keep balance.
- Their head gets lower than the rest of the body. And the blood pressure buildup may make their brain start malfunctioning and they lose their control on limbs.
- Weight. They are pretty heavy. They have more blood, more flesh that’s why.
- The slope of stairs and its correspondence to a steep hill makes it difficult for animals like horses and cows.
- Because their bone structure, legs, joints, and feet are different than humans. And unlike humans, they are not really good at coordinating their front and back legs.
So it is clear they can walk downstairs but why do they avoid it?
They avoid it because it is difficult, new to them and it scares them out.
If you have to take them downstairs anyway, what should you do?
I would suggest you avoid it as long as possible. Keep them where they are made to live i.e. plain surfaces. Use the lift if available. But still, if you have to take them downstairs it is suggested to blindfold them first. Take human help. Keeping them blindfolded all the way down will prevent blood pressure buildup.
The risk attached to taking cow downstairs
The cow is fairly a large animal and they will suffer more damage if they fall down than the smaller animals. They will probably lose their control over their weight distribution and this will result in falling headlong done. Internal bleeding and death can occur in case of serious injuries. So, Better not make them do what they are not made to do.
What about circus cows and horses? How are they going up and down so easily?
Practice and the structure of the stairs make it easy for them. They are made to walk up and down on a daily basis. So it becomes usual for them, their fear goes away. And those stairs are made for them keeping in mind their body structure.
If they can’t come downstairs easily what makes them better in going upstairs?
Because walking upstairs is a little more comfortable than going down. Having the front part of the body up than the back is much easier to control. And the cow can look up but not down makes going upstairs a little less stressful.
It is not impossible but it is difficult to like VERY difficult. It is because of their different body structure and their inability to look at their feet. Weight distribution is another factor that makes it almost impossible for cows to go downstairs. And yes, It’s new and they are afraid of trying such new things. They can get injured too and why would one want that to happen? Keep them on the plain surfaces as they are not made for that. Go safer, use the lift instead if it can not be avoided.
Read more facts about cows
Shumaila Ejaz is a passionate farming writer. She has done her basic farming and animal care course from Agriculture university. Shumaila serving as animal care consultant in the area. Relevant to farm desire is research in poultry and livestock. Agriculture and animal farming is a vast field, suggestions should be appreciated.