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Cows do not sleep standing up, despite popular belief. They only doze for short periods of time, usually as a means to stand guard because they feel insecure for some reason or other, or because they just don't feel the need to lay down at the moment. Cattle are front-heavy and cannot lock their knees like horses can, and thus when they feel the need to actually sleep or even to rest their legs they lay down in a prone position, which is with their front legs folded with the feet tucked under the brisket or chest, and their hind legs tucked off to one side, not quite but almost under themselves. When they sleep in this position they can either tuck their heads around towards their rear (where they're legs are), or even lay out on their sides if they're in a particularly deep sleep.

Popular belief also entails that once a cow is down, it cannot get up, even if it's on its side. This is also not true. The only time a cow that's laying on its side cannot get up is if it's already dead or too sick and weak to get up. A healthy bovine is quite capable and strong enough to hoist itself back onto its front and get up to its feet again, only in a matter of seconds. If a bovine is on its side and has to get up suddenly because it was startled, it only takes a couple of seconds or less for that animal to get back up again.

These beliefs come from two myths: "Cows lay down when it rains" and "Cows can be tipped by one person sneaking up on a cow while it's a asleep then pushing it over." Neither of these myths have any truth to them, but that is another story, and not relevant to what this question is asking.

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โˆ™ 2011-10-29 05:23:39
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Q: Why do cows sleep standing up?
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Related questions

If cows sleep standing up and lay down when it rains what happens if it rains when they?

Cows sleep laying down. Horses sleep standing up, because they can "lock" their knees. See related question.

Do yaks sleep standing up?

Not exactly. They nap or doze standing up, but will lay down to sleep, just like cows do.

Why do cow sleep standing?

Cows don't sleep standing up, although they do often doze while standing and can look as though they're sleeping. They lie down to sleep.

Does a cow sleep standing up?

No. Cows are not built to sleep standing up like horses are. Because cows are heavy in the brisket and barrel area, holding all that weight with fat, muscle, four-chambered stomach and other organs, they choose to lay down to sleep instead of remaining standing. They do doze, however when they are standing up, but it is only a light doze, not a sleep.

Are cows and horses the only animals that sleep standing up?

no flamigos do as well

Can bulls get up after being tipped?

Yes. By the way cows and bulls do not sleep standing up.

Do cows sleep standing and lying down?

Cows don't sleep standing like horses do. They would rather sleep lying down or in a recumbent position with their legs folded under them. They can doze standing, but for real beauty sleep, they lay down.

Is it possible to sleep standing up?

Horses sleep standing up. This is possible because they lock their knees so they stay standing up. This is also helpful in the wild because if they are sleeping and a predator attacks them they can wake up and run quickly away without wasting time standing up. However cows don't sleep standing up because they do not have the same sort of physiological advantages in their legs like horses do.

If cows sleep standing up and lay down when it rains what happens if it rains when they're sleeping?

A cow sleeps while lying down, not standing. And, they would get wet if they would sleep in the rain.

Do elephants sleep standing or lying down like dogs and cows?

Elephants do not lie down and sleep. They sleep standing. You know why? They are afraid ants might get into their trunks

Does antelope sleep standing up?

Yes. An antelope does sleep standing up.

Do lamb sleep standing up?

nope, they like to curl up when they sleep, but a horse does sometimes sleep standing up.

What farm animals sleep standing up?

Mainly Horses and Roosters and Hens, as well as Donkeys and Mules. Cows do too, but it's only to doze, not actually sleep.

Can rats sleep standing up?

No, rats cannot sleep standing up. The only mammals that can sleep standing up are large herbivorous mammals, like horses. They sleep standing up because it is sometimes difficult for them to stand up for lying down. Some birds, like flamingoes, sleep standing on one foot.

Do goats sleep standing up?

no, goats sit when they sleep. They are not like horses who sleep standing. no, goats sit when they sleep. They are not like horses who sleep standing.

What animal besides a horse can sleep standing up?

None. Only a horse can sleep standing up.

Why do cows give birth standing up?

Why not? Cows give birth any way they feel comfortable, standing or laying.

Do alpackers sleep standing?

no, they do not, horses are the only known animals to sleep standing up.

Do hores sleep standing up?

Yes, most horses sleep standing up but sometimes they do lie down.

What does a horse sleep on and how much is it?

They sleep standing up. They can be kept in a barn at night with hay to eat and water to drink and will sleep standing up in their stall. they sleep standing up on the ground, in a paddock or barn, free of charge unless your agisting

Dose zebras sleep standing up?

yes, zebras do sleep standing up but they also can sleep lying on the ground. horses are the same way.

Do cows sleep?

Yes..cows sleep. cows are mammals, all mammals sleep.

Moose sleep standing up?

They sleep standing on one leg and rotate during the night.

Do zebras sleep standing up or laying down?

They sleep standing like horses which they are horses.

Does a giraffe sleep standing up?

Yes giraffes do sleep standing up, they are more vulnerable to predators lying down.

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