Do Baby Cows Sleep: Where, Why and Exhaustive Facts


Do Baby Cows Sleep: Where, Why and Exhaustive Facts

You must have seen those little baby calves roaming and playing around the entire day and wonder if they ever get tired? How do they get so much energy? Or do those baby cows even sleep during the day? Let’s figure it out.

Indeed, baby cows do sleep. In fact, they sleep a lot more than grown up cows because they are curious animals who like exploring the world around them. This makes them very tired and sleepy afterward. 

Animals, too, require sleep to stay healthy and active. In fact, baby cows sleep more than any other animal. These naughty creatures get tired very quickly and require more sleep to keep energized. 

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However, they cannot sleep in every condition or environment. They can only lie down in certain surroundings. The latter part of the blog tends to explain this.

How Many Hours Do Baby Cows Sleep?

Perhaps you have observed those baby calves sleeping almost all the time while visiting the farm and are curious to know how much they even sleep in a day? What is their sleep cycle like? Do they sleep for shorter or longer periods of time?

Depending on the surrounding environment, newborn calves can rest up to 20 hours per day and sleep more than 10 hours daily. However, for calves to be able to sleep and rest, they need a peaceful place and suitable weather conditions. 

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Although calves spend half of their sleeping around, they are very particular about the surroundings and weather conditions. They usually avoid sleeping in filthy surroundings or cold climates. Calves require clean shelter and a warm cozy place to rest in. Usually, most of them prefer to sleep with their mother cows as they will feel safer and warmer around them. 

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When do Baby Cows Sleep? 

Now that you know baby cows sleep almost all the time, you must be wondering when do they ever sleep? Do they also have a particular time to sleep, just like humans? Let’s find this out. 

Baby cows sleep anytime when they feel tired, full or when they get a cozy shelter to rest in. These tiny creatures do unusual things the entire day, and just like a kid, they sleep anytime during the day, not only when they feel tired but also when their stomach is full. 

For cows to remain healthy and active, they need to take complete rest. However, calves require even more sleep than a grown up cow, for which they spend most of their day sleeping and dozing off. Thus, there is no particular time when they do take rest or sleep. You can find them sleeping even during the day when the rest of the world is awake. 

Do Baby Calves Sleep at Night?

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As cows are somewhat similar to humans, the question of whether they sleep at night is a matter of debate among many. Although many are of the opinion that cows do not sleep at night due to fear of predators, others argue that they do. Let’s find out the truth. 

Baby cows do sleep at night, but only when they can find a place that is safe from predators like barns or enclosed places. Most of the time, they also sleep while standing up, especially at night because of the fear of predators; however, they lay down when they require REM sleep.

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Cows, being a prey animal, are always an easy target of predators. This is why calves, particularly cattle remain extra cautious during dark as they are quickly attacked by other animals during night times. Thus, they do only sleep at night when they feel the surroundings are safe and there is no threat of other animals. 

How Long Does a Calf Sleep? 

The majority of cows’ time is spent sleeping, which makes us wonder how long they sleep in a single session? Do they complete their daily dose of sleep in a single session or sleep in intervals? Let’s find out how long they sleep. 

Depending on the surroundings, cows can sleep as long as they feel safe and comfortable. At most, they sleep 9 hours in a day but only at short intervals. They don’t sleep 9 hours straight and take 10- 20 minutes of sleep every time they rest.

Basically, the calf sleeps in short intervals because of their fear of predator. This is the reason they sleep mainly standing up and even then they sleep for short intervals. They usually lay down only when they require deep sleep otherwise they take smaller naps while laying down. 

Do Calves Sleep with their Eyes Open?

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There must have been times when you have seen cows sleeping with their eyes open and thought that it was an illusion, not something that is possible. But is that really the case? Do cows sleep with their eyes open or closed? Read below to know. 

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Calves do not always sleep with their eyes open. Their eye structure is similar to that of humans and has eyelids that allow them to close their eyes while sleeping properly. Although, when in a deep sleep, they can be seen with one eye open. 

When they are in REM sleep, they also roll their eyes and blink, and even sleep on their sides. Sleeping with one eye open is sometimes called unihemispheric sleep because, during sleep, the animal effectively shuts part of its brain down to let it rest while the other part keeps checking for predators.


In a nutshell, baby cows do sleep quite often, but only when they feel safe and warm. They sleep for a longer duration, but being a predator and massive in size, they avoid lying down and taking small naps while standing. But, still they sleep for around 10 hours a day. 

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