How Fast Can Cows Run

It is often the conclusion, cows are slow runners because they are big, naive, and passive. Cows rarely run since it is not an essential component of their daily activity, although there are conditions where cows run. Cows in a cow field typically run in response to fear, excitement, and predator threats. While cows do not run as regularly as other animals, they can do so occasionally.

Besides how fast can a cow run away to avoid injury from harm or threats, cows also moo to show emotion such as fear or distress. You may wonder, how fast can a cow run? Because if you were in between them and the nearest barrier for safety, could you be faster than the fastest cow speed in the herd?

In our guide, you can learn that a cow can run when needed and run pretty fast. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of can a person outrun a cows top speed and how you could avoid them if you faced such a situation. (Read What Do Cows Like To Eat)

cow run

Why Do Cows Run?

1. Fear

Cows typically run when they become feel threatened by something nearby. This could be humans striking or frightening them away.

Like any other animals, cows and beef cattle flee from terror to protect themselves. Cows run like most animals when they face the slightest hint of human rage or loud noise.

2. Escape from Other Animals

Cows also flee from other animals in fear of a predator assault, not only humans. They typically have a phobia of canines, big cats, horses, bears, and more.

Dogs are what cows are most frightened of most. This is because dogs are descendants of predators, and a cow would be common prey.

Cows lack the sharp teeth to defend themselves and running and kicking are their only defense. How fast can a cow run away from dogs depends on age, health, and other factors?

3. Excited Cows Run

Cows are lively and sociable animals. They typically like interacting with people and other animals through play.

Therefore, when cows are in fields with other herd animals, it is common for them to run. When they are joyful, they run and sprint.

4. Chasing Humans

Although they may appear harmless, cows are some of the most spiteful animals and will run humans when upset or angry with them.

You may notice it more with bulls or beef cattle, but when you see these, you can immediately wonder how fast can a cow run and can they maintain high speeds? (Read Can A Cow Swim)

cow far run

How Far Can a Cow Run?

Cows can go 300–350 feet in under two seconds on average, though their speed may vary depending on breed. Also, cows get a better grip on the damp or soft ground compared to horses because of their cloven hooves.

The length of a cow’s run is also influenced by elements like surface, weight, and age besides momentum.

Cows lack the instinct to run that other herd animals do like horses and sheep do. Although they cannot run for longer periods without stopping when necessary, because of their weight and body size, they can carry out some long-distance running when required.

Some people claim cows can run for up to 5 hours without stopping, while others think they can only run for up to 2 hours.

Cows can run 20 to 30 miles per day. But that relies on several things, such as how far away the water is, how far they’re used to travel each day, and the weather.

Can A Cow Run Faster Than a Human?

Does the top speed of 25 miles per hour cows run at full gallop, and the average speed of 180 feet per minute a cow walks suggest they are faster than human average run speeds, and thus faster than most people?

Although a cow may run faster than a person, humans can change direction quickly. Cows are made to leap and run and can quickly leap over a four to five-foot barrier far taller than humans can dream of.

Can you Outrun A Cow?

You’ll be looking at how fast is a cow when searching for how humans compare to how fast do cows run. It is a popular myth that humans can easily outrun a cow.

It is improbable that humans will outrun a cow because they cannot run faster. Beef cows run twice as quickly as the average human when the charging cow runs in a straight path.

The top speed an adult man can run is seven miles per hour. Cows more than double the human speed with an average top running speed of 17 mph. There’s even a record of a cow recorded at 25 miles per hour, as you’ll see above, which is still faster than Usain Bolt over a short distance compared to if a cow ran an entire mile.

What To Do If A Cow Chases You?

Cows that start chasing people can occasionally lead to serious injury. Once they become agitated and fearful, they can run you for several miles. Let’s examine your options if a cow chases you.

Keep calm and avoid making direct eye contact with them as your first course of action.

However, if you see cows walk toward you, they could see the average person as a threat. Cows walking quickly is a signal they are about to run.

After taking precautions, if the cow charges, strike its nose with a trekking pole or something similar.

Note that avoiding waving your arms or your trekking pole is better, as this could enrage them more.

Luckily, cows have four legs, so coordination is lacking, so they can’t change direction quickly once running.

This is to man’s advantage, so it is best to run in zig-zag patterns until you reach the nearest barrier, as you’ll never match cows running average speed in a field even over short periods. (Read Can Goats Eat Lettuce)

man run bull

Can I outrun bulls?

Bulls are extremely dangerous creatures even if they are still prey animals. They are among the riskiest livestock species to own or even be around.

A bull may turn on a dime from a standstill faster than you can respond. It can outpace you with ease, and if you fall or get hit by it, it will gore or crush you until you can no longer move.

Can you approach cows?

Cows are curious animals, so be aware that they will probably approach you and your dog to investigate.

They are probably intrigued if they are moving slowly toward you. It may feel daunting when the cows follow you but keep your composure and move steadily.

Remember, your fastest miles per hour isn’t as fast as the cows’, almost twenty miles per hour, so you’ll need to be smart in your running direction.

How fast is a chicken?

If you have backyard chickens, you may wonder how fast they move when you see them scurrying off in a cloud of dust. Chickens are not particularly graceful runners yet can reach around 9 miles per hour.

Cow Facts

Cows are warm-blooded animal that depends on plants for their nourishment, making them members of the herbivore species. A cow can consume 50 to 100 kg of grass daily and graze for 8 to 10 hours.

How Long Cows Live?

Cows can live for an average life of 18 to 22 years.

Dairy Cows for Milk

Following the delivery of the calf, dairy cows continue to produce milk for 10 months. She typically produces 30 liters of milk daily, or 8 gallons, or around twice daily. However, the milk yield depends on the cow’s age and breed.

Cow Weight

While an adult cow weighs 720 kg, an adult bull weighs an average of 1100 kg. Cattle weight varies depending on the breed of the animal. The weight of a smaller animal ranges from 272 to 454 kg, while the weight of larger cattle goes from 635 to 1134 kg.

Cow Teeth

A cow has 32 teeth, including two canines and six incisors on the front of the lower jaw. Their canines are not pointed like carnivorous animals but resemble incisors.

The upper front teeth are absent. The number of incisors in a cow’s jaw can assess the animal’s age. (Read What To Feed Deer In Backyard)

Sight and Vision

Cows have eyes on the sides of their heads, which gives them expansive peripheral vision. They have a 360-degree field of vision and constantly walk, moving their heads back and forth to check their blind area behind them.

Cattle are red-green colorblind; and less able to distinguish some colors than people are, particularly red.

It is a fallacy that bulls are drawn to or enraged by the color red, yet during bullfights, the movement of the red cape or flag enrages the bull and drives it to charge. They typically stay away from bright light.

Sense of Smell

The best defense a cow has is its sense of smell. Up to 6 miles away, they can detect the smell. A cow’s sense of smell is superior to a person’s. Cows might become anxious at the smell of blood, or the fertilizer made from bones.

Sense of Taste

A cow has two to three times as many taste buds as a human, or around 20 to 25 thousand.

Cattle can discriminate between sour, sweet, bitter, and salty flavors. Cows re-chew their food after it has been swallowed and open and close their jaws 50 times per minute, or over 72 000 times per day.


Compared to humans, cows have a more extensive hearing range. Cows can hear between 23 Hz and 35 kHz. Their highest sensitivity frequency is 8 kHz, and their lowest is -21 dB or 20 N/m2.

Cows are drawn to good music; they listen to it and appear enfolded. They typically pay close attention to milking parlors. Cows might be startled by loud noises because, in the wild, loud noises scare cows as these are used as alarm calls when a predator is nearby.


Cows have delicate skin and flick off flies with a twitch of their tail in that area. In the skin and muzzle of cattle, thermoreceptors, nociceptors, and mechanoreceptors play a significant role in the detection of tactile sensations. Between cows and humans, touch plays a significant role in communication.

How Fast Can Cows Run (2)

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