Yes, Cows Do Have Best Friends!


Yes, of course, cows have best friends. Science not only backs this up, but we have two examples at farm sanctuaries where this is the case.

According to a study the Barn Sanctuary posted, here are a number of scientific reasons that prove cows have best friends, just like dogs and really any sentient being does! Their best friends also don't need to be other cows. They can be goats or just about any species pending their upbringing.

For the study, cows were penned for 30-minute intervals twice, once with a preferred partner, a "best friend," and once with a cow that they did not know. During this time, the heart rates of the cows were measured.

The study tells us that when paired with their best friend, the cows' heart rates were significantly lower and they experienced less overall stress.


"The notion that cows have best friends indicates a great degree of personality in the species, and a desire, not unlike our own, to develop deep connections with others."

"In a 2014 study, researchers from the University of British Columbia found that young calves that live alone perform worse on tasks of cognitive skill than those that live with a buddy."

"One test included a Y-shaped maze with a white bottle on one end and a black bottle on the other. At first, the white bottle had milk and the black bottle was empty.

Calves from two groups, those that grew up with a buddy and those that did not, practiced getting the milk from the white bottle. Both groups took the same amount of time to learn that the white bottle had milk.

However, once the researchers changed the formula, and placed the milk in the black bottle, the cows that grew up with a buddy learned significantly quicker where to find the new source of milk, indicating a higher level of mental flexibility and adaptability to change."

This clearly shows that cows have cognitive skills and with a buddy anything is possible.

Odd Man Inn: Meet Goosie and Popcorn

Farm Sanctuary: Meet Belinda and Elijah

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Dreadfully malnourished and exhausted by years of callous treatment, Belinda came to Farm Sanctuary in terrible shape.?? ?? We rescued her from a backyard butcher where she and her herdmates, worn down and in desperate need of medical attention, were used to produce babies for slaughter. Anyone who paid to do so was allowed to choose a calf and kill him or her in a makeshift slaughter facility on-site.?? ?? When Belinda arrived at our Sanctuary, she was pregnant. Within a few short weeks, she delivered a beautiful and very healthy baby boy named Elijah. Unfortunately, the birth wasn?t without complications for mom, and resulted in a lengthy hospital stay for Belinda as she fought for survival.?? ?? Thankfully, the resilient older gal pulled through and, although thin, returned to her new home at our New York shelter. With plenty of grass, apple tree branches, and apples, Belinda had no problem gaining back her weight and then some?the malnourished body she had during her time as a breeding cow was disappearing.?? ?? Today, eight years later, Belinda is at a healthy weight and absolutely loving life. She?s made some great friends in our special needs herd with our older cattle, which is also the herd that babies first join when they come to Sanctuary. Belinda loves them too and, like all the other older Holsteins, plays the role of mother and protector with all the newbies. ?

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Could anyone argue that based on the images posted here on Instagram alone these cows have 'best friends'? With a buddy, they're even smarter.

The dairy industry and dairy farmers watch their herd carefully every day. Whether they're milking or just going about the farming practices they see that social connection between certain groups.

Farm sanctuaries can tell that stress levels are lower when animals have other animals to hang out with and other examples are horses. Many livestock are very social animals and a cow friendship is seen time and time again.


Whether or not they're bffs or just watching out for another it's crucial for their well-being. There are real benefits from cows hanging out with other cows!

Did you already know the difference? Tell us in the comments below. 

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