Wisconsin State Domestic Animal

Dairy Cow

State Symbol: Wisconsin State Domestic Animal: Dairy Cow

(Bos taurus)

Adopted in 1971.

The dairy cow, (Bos taurus,) was added to Section 1.10 of the statutes as Wisconsin's official "domestic ani-mal" by Chapter 167, Laws of 1971, in recognition of the animal's many contributions to the state.

This action was termed a logical and long overdue step, consistent with the state's promoting itself as America's Dairyland, the slogan placed on state automobile license plates by Chapter 115, Laws of 1939.

1972 Executive Order 32 designated Wisconsin's first official dairy cow. The dairy cow was added to the statutes as Wisconsin's official "domestic animal" in recognition of its many contributions to the state. This made sense since Wisconsin already promoted itself as "America's Dairyland," as seen on our license plates. As part of the adoption the state was required to establish an annual rotation among Wisconsin's purebred cows.

This also lead to the designation of the state beverage, milk. Wisconsin has been a leader in the nation's milk production for many years. Agriculture remains an important part of Wisconsin's economy.

Wisconsin State Domestic Animal: Dairy Cow

State Symbol: Wisconsin State Domestic Animal: Dairy Cow

Dairy cattle (also called dairy cows or milk cows) are cattle cows bred for the ability to produce large quantities of milk, from which dairy products are made. Dairy cows generally are of the species Bos taurus.

Historically, there was little distinction between dairy cattle and beef cattle, with the same stock often being used for both meat and milk production. Today, the bovine industry is more specialized and most dairy cattle have been bred to produce large volumes of milk. The United States dairy herd produced 83.9 billion kg (185 billion lbs) of milk in 2007, up from 52.6 billion kg (116 billion lbs) in 1950, yet there are more than 9 million cows on U.S. dairy farms- about 13 million fewer than there were in 1950.

Dairy cows come in different sizes and shapes. Those having the same size, shape, color, temperament, and abilities are classed by breed. The major US dairy breeds are Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein, Jersey, and Milking Shorthorn. The largest dairy breed in terms of number of cows is the Holstein.

Dairy cattle have to grow up just like people do. A dairy cow doesn't produce milk until she has a calf. She is about two years old when she has her first calf. Dairy farmers like for cows to have a calf every 12 to 14 months.

State Symbol: Wisconsin State Domestic Animal: Dairy Cow

The miracle of life unfolds many times per month on most dairy farms. On average, a cow gives birth to a calf every 13 or 14 months, and this begins a new lactation or milking cycle. A cow is normally milked for about 11 or 12 months and then the "mother in waiting" has a period of about 2 months before her new calf is born during which she is not milked. This gives her body a time of rest to prepare itself for the next lactation cycle, which starts as soon as the calf is born.

Wisconsin Law

The law designating the dairy cow as the official Wisconsin state domestic animal is found in the Wisconsin Statutes, Chapter 1, Section 1.10(3)(I)

35.18 Wisconsin statutes.

1.10 State song, state ballad, state waltz, state dance, and state symbols.
(3) The Wisconsin state symbols are as follows:

1.10(3) (i) The dairy cow (bos taurus) is the state domestic animal.

Taxonomic Hierarchy: Dairy Cow

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Genus: Bos
Species: Bovidae Bos taurus

State Mammals
State Mammals & Animals
Mammals are vertebrates (backboned animals) that feed their young on mother's milk.