Do Cows Explode if Not Milked

Do Cows Explode if Not Milked? Everything You Need to Know About Dairy Cows

There are a lot of questions out there about dairy cows. One common question people ask is, do cows explode if not milked? I was thinking about that too, so researched and found some interesting studies about dairy cows. I’m going to share the most interesting findings right here with you.

Do cows explode if not milked?

If a cow is not milked, her udders will become very full and uncomfortable, but she will not explode. This can lead to mastitis, an inflammation of the udder. Mastitis is painful and can cause the cow’s udders to become engorged, hot, and uncomfortable. If left untreated, mastitis can be fatal.

Types of dairy cows

First things first. Do you know that there are many different types of dairy cows, each with its unique characteristics? Here are some of the most common ones.

The most common type of dairy cow is the Holstein, which makes up about 90% of all dairy cows in the United States. Holsteins are large cows with black-and-white spots. They can produce up to 50 pounds of milk per day.

Other types of dairy cows include: 

  • the Jersey, which is smaller than the Holstein but produces higher-quality milk; 
  • the Brown Swiss, which is one of the largest dairy cows and produces very rich milk; 
  • and the Guernsey, which has golden-colored fur and produces milk with a high butterfat content.

See also: Milk Propaganda: The Eye-Opening Truth

How is milk made step by step?

Now we know there are many types of dairy cows. But how exactly is milk made? Here is the short and simplified step-by-step process of making milk.

  1. A cow usually gets artificially impregnated by a farmer using a bull’s semen. 
  2. When the calf is born, the cow’s milk starts to flow. 
  3. Farmers hook her up to a milking machine which sucks the milk out of her udders and into a big tank. 
  4. The milk is then pasteurized, bottled, and sent off to grocery stores.

How do cows get pregnant?

The most common way used in intensive animal farming is the artificial insemination of a cow. A metal rod is inserted into the cow’s vagina and semen from a bull is injected. This process is usually done by a vet or a specially trained farmer.

Are dairy cows constantly pregnant?

Cows are typically kept pregnant to keep them lactating, so they are usually re-impregnated within a few weeks of giving birth. 

This cycle of pregnancy and lactation takes a toll on the cow’s body, and they are typically slaughtered and used for beef after about four or five years.

See also: Can You Milk a Male Cow? 12 Facts About Bulls You Probably Didn’t Know

How long do dairy cows live?

Dairy cows typically live for about 10 years but can live up to 20 years if well-cared for. The average lifespan of a dairy cow is about six years, though, because they are often culled from the herd before they reach full maturity. 

Dairy cows are bred specifically for their milk production and are often kept in conditions that are not conducive to a long life.

  • For example, they may be kept in confined spaces and fed an unnatural diet. 
  • Additionally, their milk production declines as they age, so they are typically culled when they are no longer economically viable. 

While the average lifespan of a dairy cow is relatively short, some individual cows have lived for much longer than average. The oldest known dairy cow was Big Bertha, who lived to be 48 years old. 

Are dairy cows used for meat?

Dairy cows are not typically used for meat. They are bred to produce milk, not meat. Typically, they are not as muscular as beef cows.

However, a small percentage of them are slaughtered each year for beef. When dairy cows no longer produce enough milk, they need to be culled from the herd and slaughtered. 

The cost of taking care of a cow that doesn’t produce milk is not economically viable for the farmer, so cows face the cruel reality of being treated as a commodity by humans.

Are dairy cows and meat cows the same?

No, dairy cows and meat cows are not the same. 

  • Dairy cows are used for milk production, while meat cows are raised for their beef. 
  • Dairy cows typically have a higher body fat content than meat cows, as they need extra energy to produce milk. 
  • Dairy cows also have different genetics than meat cows, as they have been bred specifically for milk production. 
  • Finally, dairy cows are typically kept in different conditions than meat cows, as they need to be kept clean and comfortable to produce high-quality milk.

What happens to the calves of dairy cows?

It’s no secret that the dairy industry is tough on cows. From the constant milking to the unsanitary conditions, these animals go through a lot of suffering. But what happens to their calves?

Sadly, most calves are taken away from their mothers within hours of birth and sent to veal crates, where they’re kept in tiny spaces and fed an anemic diet so that their flesh will stay white. This cruel practice results in great distress for the calves, who are typically slaughtered at just a few months old.

Are dairy cows happy?

Dairy cows are kept in very close quarters and typically have little opportunity to roam or graze freely. 

They are subject to frequent milking and impregnation, and their calves are taken away soon after birth. While some farmers treat their cows well, others may view them as nothing more than milk machines.

Here is a drone video of a dairy farm that shows the sad lives of dairy cows living separated in tiny spaces, just to make us humans happy.

See also: Do Cows Have Feelings? The Proven Science of Cow Emotions

Key takeaways

Do cows explode if not milked? No, they don’t. This is a myth that has been perpetuated by the dairy industry to make people believe that milk is an essential part of the cow’s diet. Cows can go without milk for long periods and they will not explode.



Petra profile image

Hi, I’m Petra and for most of my life, I was an omnivore. A vegan couple made me curious about veganism, so I did some research. What I found out about the animals, our planet, and the health benefits of a vegan diet made me go vegan overnight. It’s been 5 years now and it’s been one of the best decisions of my life.

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