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10 Ways Animals Supposedly Predict the Weather

        Science | Storms

9
Cows Lie Down in the Pasture Before Rain
The jury is still out on whether cows lie down before bad weather. frederic prochasson/iStock/Thinkstock
The jury is still out on whether cows lie down before bad weather. frederic prochasson/iStock/Thinkstock

Cows provide us with creamy milk, succulent steaks and velvety-soft baby calves to ooh and ah over. But do they have precognitive weather abilities? Word on the farm is that cows are generally pretty chilled- out creatures until bad weather approaches, at which time they become restless and even lie down in pasture to smartly preserve a dry spot amid a bunch of muddy puddles [source: Mother Nature Network].

But before you ditch that weather app on your phone in favor of farmside-seating, take heed – when cows lie down they're probably just chewing their cud, rather than pondering the five-day forecast [source: Farmers' Almanac]. There is one study that showed that cows tend to stand longer when the weather is hot as they try to dissipate the heat all over their bodies. And that they also seek shade during sunny times. (Who doesn't?) But the study didn't take on the question of whether cows always lie down before it rains [source: Allen et al.]. Chances are, they don't.