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How Fast Can a Cow Run?

It is really easy to think of How Fast Can a Cow Run as these plodding, huge brutes that sort of slouch from one place to the other. Every once in a while one of them will get startled and take off at a modest trot, bell tinkling musically. That is, it’s easy to think that until you make a big mistake one day and get charged by a bull, or even backed off by a mother who is intent on protecting her young calf from what she sees as a threat.

Then, cows look like freight trains fast approaching, and you’re the one standing on the tracks! So, how fast can cow run?

On average, adult cows can run flat out between 15 and 17mph. Particularly athletic specimens can top 25 mph in a charge.

Don’t be fooled just because cows look lazy and chubby. They are solid muscles, and with that muscle comes certain advantages, namely speed.
They might not be the most nimble animals around, but they are more than fast enough to run you down.

How Fast Do Cows Usually Move?

How Long Can Cows Run
Source: istock.com

Cow run, as should be obvious, doesn’t go that fast all the time. The typical walking speed of a cow is right around 2 mph, sometimes a little bit quicker.

A human walking at a brisk pace is faster than that, so cows are pretty slow most of the time.

But that’s only because they don’t have to move quickly most of the time. They sure can if they want to!

Are All Cow Fast Runners?

Generally yes, assuming that they aren’t injured, very young or very old. There are lots of variables, of course, and many of the most popular domestic breeds of cows that are bred for immense size aren’t quite as fast as the average. Most heritage breeds are significantly quicker.

But, for all practical purposes, this might be academic: even a cow that is considered a slow runner is, in all likelihood, going to be a lot quicker than you, especially from a standing start.

How Fast is a Bull?

Bulls, as a rule, are faster than most other cow run. Yes, the breed makes a difference of course, but bulls benefit from having testosterone coursing through their system for their entire life.

Testosterone improves muscle mass, athleticism, stamina, and a host of other physical traits and this translates to better performance when running!

Generally, you can count on a bowl of any given species being between 3 and 5mph faster than cows or steers.

Sometimes they are dramatically faster than that, so watch yourself!

Are Any Breeds of Cows Faster than Others?

Surprisingly, or perhaps not surprisingly, there isn’t a whole lot of data out there on the top speeds of cows belonging to various breeds and related species.

Part of this is because, frankly, it doesn’t matter most of the time, and the other part is it’s quite difficult to get cows into a position or environment where that data can be repeatably and reliably gathered.

So, there won’t be a top 10 list coming out here on the fastest cows. Sorry. That said you can depend on most mature adult cows attaining that 15 mph mark I talked about earlier.

What is the Fastest a Cow Can Go?

How Long Can Cows Run
Source: istock.com

It turns out that some cows are quite fast! Some cows, particularly young bulls of mid-sized breeds, might be able to sprint flat out as fast as 25 mph! That is about the speed of an Olympic sprinter, for reference!

That’s so fast that bull could perform a 100-meter dash in just about 10 seconds, or be on top of you if you were in its paddock before you could react. This speed is not typical, but it’s not unheard of, either…

Can Cows Outrun a Human?

Yes. I don’t care how fast you think you think you are. I’m going to go ahead and make a blanket statement that says yes, cows can reliably outrun humans as a rule.

If you’re a very good runner and are being rushed by a mainly sluggish cow, your strength can break or win the race. For most of the period, that was not successful to occur.

Your average adult that’s not in good shape runs anywhere between 6 and perhaps 10 mph. An athlete will usually run between 10 and 13 mph while someone that is in tip-top shape can meet or beat 15mph.

The amount of people that can match, to say nothing of beat, the top speed of a running cow is very small.

Why Would a Cow Chase a Person

Cows might chase a person for a few reasons. One of the most common is that it is a cow protecting her calf from a threat, real or perceived.

You’ve always got to be on guard if you’re around a new mother, even if she has known you her whole life.

She might not know that you wouldn’t hurt or try to take her calf from her, and might charge and chase you away. Similarly, any cow might charge or give chase if it feels threatened.

And then, of course, you have bulls. Bulls are likely to charge you just because you are there and they can reach you.

They are territorial, surly, and oftentimes highly aggressive. Never, ever turn your back on a bull if it can reach you!

How Long Can Cow Run?

Cows can run for a surprising distance, but compared to other bovines they don’t have tremendous endurance. That being said, they probably have a lot more endurance than you do once again!

It is believed that cow run, though not run at top speed, for up to 2 hours. Some evidence suggests that they might be able to run at a somewhat slower pace for more than 4 hours!

Again, these metrics are difficult to measure or obtain by any truly scientific standard, but we know enough to say with certainty how fast can a cow run for quite a long time.

What Should You Do if You’re Chased by a Cow?

If you’re being chased by a cow, you’re very best bet is to get something sturdy between you and it ASAP. This could be a fence or some other obstacle. Most cows will break off rather than slam into an obstacle.

If this isn’t a possibility, do not assume that you can outrun the cow and reach safety unless you have a significant head start.

If the cow is chasing you and is going to reach you, try to make sharp, 90° turns and accelerate quickly. Cows cannot corner particularly well at speed.


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