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Black Cow Day

June 1 2023

National Black Cow Day is June 10th! While we’re more than happy to celebrate black cattle, we probably should mention that the ‘official’ meaning of this day is to honor the root beer float, which is also known as a Black Cow. That aside, we do want to shine the spotlight on black cows. A Mt. Airy, MD vet discusses black cows below.

Black Cow Myths

While black cows don’t pop up in mythology as often as black cats, dogs, or birds, they do make a few notable appearances. The most well known is likely the Irish tale of the three cow sisters: Bo Find, the white cow, was the star of the story, but her sisters, Bo Ruadh and Bo Dhu, who were red and black, respectively, also figure in. Bessie also pops up in Greek mythology. Hades, the god of the underworld, had a herd of immortal black cattle.

Black Cow Breeds

Technically, black cattle is an umbrella term for beef cattle, regardless of what color they are. (This is a bit confusing, but we’ll leave that alone for now.) Quite a few cow breed standards allow for black coloring, and a few cows are always or almost always black. At the top of the list is the Black Angus, which is the most common purebred cow in the world. Then we have the Simmental, a Swiss cow. These guys can also be brown or red, but are often black. They’re one of the oldest cow breeds, and are actually the world’s second most popular cow. The small Dexter is next on the list, followed by the Welsh Black Cow, a hardy animal that does well in many different climates and has been around since the Roman Empire.


So how does one celebrate Black Cow Day? A root beer float would not be inappropriate. If you happen to have a black cow, offer Bessie a special treat. You may also want to listen to the Steely Dan song Black Cow.

Black Cow Recipe

If you want to go all-in, here’s the official Black Cow recipe: You’ll need eight to ten ounces of root beer, two scoops of vanilla ice cream, a tablespoon of chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and, of course, a Maraschino cherry for the top. Enjoy!

Do you have questions about cow care? Contact us, your local Mt. Airy, MD animal clinic, today!