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Cows Can’t Walk Down the Stairs. Here’s Why

Did you know that some animals are unable to walk down the stairs? Cows find it difficult to walk down a set of stairs. Let us check out why.

Aarushi Chadha
Cow bodies are also not made for walking on stairs

There is a widely held belief that cows and horses cannot walk down a set of stairs. This is because walking downstairs is not part of their nature. Stairs are a human invention and are designed to fit the proportions of human legs. The angle at which the slope of the stairs is too steep for cows to go down on, especially when they can see the ground properly.

Cow bodies are also not made for walking on stairs. Cows are incredibly large animals that walk on all fours. Smaller cows find it easier to walk down a flight of stairs than larger cows. Cows have a very stocky and rectangular build. Their bodies are designed to graze flat grasslands. Walking on slopes is very tough for them because of gravity. One tiny slip-up and they can go tumbling down a mountain.

Why can’t cows go down a flight of stairs?

Cows are also heavier than human beings. And it is difficult for them to balance their weight on their legs properly while going down a flight of stairs. Cows are also not good at coordinating the movement between their front and back legs. Stairs are also built for human dimensions and cows find them difficult to navigate because of the angle of their incline. However, circus cows or young cows can acclimate to walking down a flight of stairs by practice. Walking them up and down daily gets rid of their fear. Plus, it is possible for cows to walk down a flight of stairs that are built around their dimensions.

Can cows go up a flight of stairs?

It is easier for cows to go up a flight of stairs than down one. This is because they have more control of the front part of their body in this scenario. Cows can also look ahead which makes going up a flight of stairs less stressful than going down. While cows can’t walk down a flight of stairs, they are capable of walking backward. However, they do so very carefully and slowly to minimize the risk associated with injuring themselves while doing so.

Can cows run?

It is not often that you see cow running, however, they can run at a speed of 25 to 40 km/hr. They usually run when they are scared by another animal or human being, or when they are happy.

Can cows swim?

Cows are actually very good swimmers, and some can even cover large distances while swimming. Cows are buoyant in water because of their weight. Their legs act as four paddles which helps them swim long distances easily. They cannot swim underwater though and do not like to hand near deep water.

Other animals that struggle doing downstairs:

Horses are another example of an animal that has an issue with walking down a flight of stairs even though they are more agile, carry less weight, and have more flexible legs than cows. Their reason to feel stressed about going down a flight of stairs is that they are not naturally inclined to walk down them.

However, they can safely make it down a flight of stairs with some persuasion and reassurance. Elephants are also not keen on going down a flight of stairs. Other than their sheer size and weight, elephants are also not very agile animals. Plus, other than concrete stairs, no stairs will be able to sustain their weight. 

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