What Eats A Cow?

What Eats A Cow? What Does A Cow Eat?

Many other species, in addition to humans, also use cows as a common food source. Cows are prey for several predators despite the common misconception that they are large, peaceful animals.

That the cow, an enormous animal, is easily hunted is hard to comprehend. It is true to a certain degree, but the conclusions are astonishing when you look at the data. According to Department of Agriculture figures, carnivores and dogs accounted for around 0.23% of the US cattle herd.

Closeup Image of a Cow What Eats A Cow
Closeup Image of a Cow What Eats A Cow

In North America, cows are frequently attacked by grizzly bears and wolves, whereas in Asia, cows are often the target of tigers and wolves, as per a recent research published in Nature. While lions and leopards in Africa hunt cows, cows are chased by dingos, a wild dog native to Australia.

This piece will examine a few creatures that eat cows and discuss why they consider them an essential part of their diet.

Come with me as we investigate some of the animals that eat cows!

Cow’s Predators

Because cows are prey animals, hazardous predators constantly look for methods to harm them. They are large and complex to assault but dumb creatures with limited self-defense skills.

Most predators, however, target ill or injured cows, making it impossible for them to fend off their deadly attacks. The most significant killers of cows include;

  • Wolves
  • Grizzly Bears
  • Tigers
  • Dogs
  • Cougars
  • Coyotes

1. Wolves

One of the largest predators of cattle and other animals is the wolf. After looking into it, the USDA discovered that in 2015, wolves killed roughly 3879 livestock. Being shrewd predators, wolves seldom attack herds of moving cows; instead, they often target lone cows wandering off the road or splitting from the group.

Calves are a prime target for wolves to hunt and kill since they are simple prey. Mature cattle are difficult to kill and put up a fight.

A pack of wolves is more than enough to take down mature livestock. They immediately circle about and assault the prey.

After wolves in Idaho murdered 102 sheep and cattle in 2020, a measure allowing the killing of most of the state’s wolves was passed.

Killing a lot of wolves will just make the situation worse. Thus, an incentive-based coexistence plan that prevents harm to any animal species should be implemented.

Group of Cows In The Farm What Eats A Cow
Group of Cows In The Farm What Eats A Cow

2. Grizzly Bears

Cattle deaths by grizzly bears are not new; occasionally, various news sites may report on the bears’ attacks and injuries to cattle.

This predator, the Grizzly Bear, is known for taking the lives of defenseless domesticated livestock.

The bear is intelligent enough to avoid human sight and does not attack livestock while they are around. They gather cattle or calves here and there and feast on them once the herd has moved to the field or other area to graze.

When cattle are getting ready for winter hibernation, in late July or early August, there is a spike in their hunger, which is when most predation occurs.

If cows are grazing in an area where grizzly bears are present, farmers may suffer losses; however, range riders or livestock protection dogs can aid in managing predation.

In regions with a higher concentration of human activity, roads, human presence, and other things prevent grizzly bears from causing violence or hunting.

3. Tigers

Tigers are potent hunters and adept predators. The tiger knows every trick in the book for taking on large prey. Bengal Tigers, particularly in Asia, kill gaurs and even entire herds of cows, costing farmers hundreds of dollars in damages.

Tigers typically use the neck when attacking big animals, such as cattle. They bring the prey to the ground with their powerful forelimbs. The tiger does not let go of the cow’s neck until it dies. Tigers can outwit their prey with cunning hunting methods. Therefore, they do not need to hunt in packs.

A tiger is unlikely to bother cows grazing in a herd, but it could attack a lone cow feeding by itself or apart from the other cows in the herd. A solitary cow is more readily slaughtered and is more susceptible to harm.

4. Dogs

Dogs may seem innocent, but they might occasionally be the cow’s worst predators. Wild Dogs may attack, damage, and even kill cows.

While a single dog might be unable to track down a single cow, a pack can. Whichever breed, size, or age group dogs come from, they seize any opportunity to attack and subdue the animal.

Typically, the group surrounds the cow target before attacking and biting its face. To readily kill their prey, dogs also attempt to bring it to the ground. Many regulations permit landowners and farmers to put an end to dogs who are discovered to injure cattle.

Experts are trying to find a solution to the rising issue of wild dogs attacking calves and other animals. Dogs have a natural hunting instinct triggered by the sight and smell of prey. Only a few people are aware of this.

5. Cougar

The cougar is one of the top predators of cows in North America. The cougar will typically stalk its prey before moving in for the kill. Once the cougar has its prey in sight, it often uses stealth to get close before pouncing on the cow.

Numerous farmers and livestock ranchers have seen fatal assaults by cougars in the wild. They seldom hunt large cattle unless they are ill or badly injured. Cattle and sheep are killed by cougars, pumas, or mountain lions, accounting for around 20% of all predation losses in the Western States annually.

A farmer who maintains cattle ranches in remote places where these predators are common must bear significant costs regarding livestock mortality and the expense of putting up various predator control systems. Cougars have slaughtered a good number of cattle, and they will still murder them whenever they have the chance.

After killing cows or calves, cougars bring their meal to a designated spot so they may eat it undisturbed. After consuming their food, they smother the victim with grass and foliage to prevent it from being discovered by other predators. They also maintain guard animals and use electric fences to reduce cattle-cougar fighting.

What Eats A Cow What Does A Cow Eat
What Eats A Cow What Does A Cow Eat

6. Coyotes

Perhaps you’ve never heard of Coyotes harming healthy adult cows and yearlings because they seldom damage mature cows over two months old. A coyote finds it challenging to tackle and attack an animal of its size.

Calves are straightforward prey for coyotes to kill since they are weak, immobile, and plain to kill. Typically, coyotes prey on defenseless infants less than a week old.

Because calves are far more vulnerable than mature cattle, coyotes tend to prey on the helpless, day-old calves season after season.

It is feasible to protect infants from fatal assaults by using technology, herd management techniques, and better fence construction.


As we know, numerous creatures consume the flesh and milk of cows. These creatures are native to North America, Africa, Asia, and Europe, among other parts of the planet. Among these creatures are wolves, cougars, bears, and tigers. Although the idea of these creatures devouring cows may seem weird or unsettling to some, it is a natural occurrence in Nature.

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