Why are these cows not eating?

Why are these cows not eating? Group (not) grazing in a Dutch pasture.

When you look at cows, always try to notice the things that stand out. These are the cow signals, the cow is telling you something.

What can be going on here? Please share your thoughts.

More about feeding

Comments (6)


How interesting that rain puts the animals off grazing. In my reading around motivation to graze and reasons behind that my understanding is that cattle, if given sufficient TMR and time indoors to consume it, choose to use pasture for resting and ruminating, rather than grazing. Also weather seems to alter their decision to go outside, with free choice cows choosing to stay indoors when the weather is bad. I wonder what behaviours the free choice cows which chose to go outside in bad weather express? Are they the sub-dominant animals choosing to go outside in sub-optimal conditions to escape a stressful environment indoors?


Best I can make out, it looks as if the grass was already grazed over? The lighter spots appear to be already grazed. Was this a fresh paddock or where they in this paddock previously? Has this been on going or just the day you posted video? I have more questions than any good answers...

Pierre-Alexandre Heckly

totally wet grass ?
+ Difficulty to walk in the mud (isolated cow) ?


looking at the color of the grass it seems to me that the quality of not that good. Cows are losing their appetite just by smelling it.


pasture is not overgrazed but according to differences in colour, light short, dark green long, it has been grazed before. So I assume that because of the rain all the manure spots have become smelly and the cows do not like that.

Joep Driessen

Thanks for the great replies all!

Heavy rain : cows like to be inside! Make sure you supply hay or tmr on the feeding table inside...

Check rumen fill: all day rain: big risk for rumen acidosis and abomasal displacement (they only eat concentrate during milking).

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