Thursday, May 19, 2011 | By: Funny Photo Site

Fact of Facts 5 - Cow

Is it possible to lead a cow upstairs but not downstairs?

Answer from Yahoo :

This is actually correct stating that a cow can be led upstairs but not down. The ankle and knee joints are misaligned for supporting the cows weight when traveling down stairs. Its not that they physically can't, its just that it is a lot of trouble for them. Imagine walking upstairs normally, but then when you come back down the stairs you have to wear a pair of ballet shoes and walk down on your tiptoes and you also have to bend forward at the waist the whole way down. you not only feel unstable, but you also feel like you might fall forward. This is probably similar to how the cow feels when trying to walk down stairs. Therefore, the animal is going to resist because of the fear of falling. Also a cows brain has trouble determining just how large a drop each step actually is, and the animal doesn't like uncertainty. That is why anti-cattle crossing lines work for keeping them contained.

And also cows can walk down stairs, as long as the stairs are wide and long enough. Some dairy sheds have stairs for the cows to walk down if the shed is on slanted ground.

Another Answer :

there is a suggestion from someone who claims to know a great deal about cows that they can in fact walk down stairs but the steps have to be wider (about 20 inches). Thinking about it I doubt if a cow can raise it's leg much at the 'hip' or 'shoulder' equivalent (which I think is anatomically formed of the equivalent bones to the knee in the human since the cow walks on it's fingertips - its hooves are essentially fingernails) and that might be a more complete answer. 
You can see on the fore-limb that the upper part of the limb consists of two bones (equivalent to the bones below the elbow) and then there is a single bone between these and the shoulder blade.


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