Cows are common to all biomes in the Overworld (except for the desert and ocean biomes) and will spawn in herds that contain 4 - 10 individuals. They typically spawn on opaque blocks that have a minimum of two blocks of air above them, though they will sometimes spawn trapped under jungle leaves.
In creative mode, cows can be spawned with spawn eggs. The cow spawn egg is dark brown with grey spots.
Cows are 1.6875 blocks tall, 0.625 blocks wide, and 1.5 blocks long. They have dark brown coats with white spots and black hooves. All cows have a short horn on either side of their head and a pink udder. Their eyes are larger than those of most mobs and appear somewhat unfocused. They resemble Norwegian Red Cattle.
Cows that are held captive by means of a fence, lead, or any other method can easily be farmed for resources and/or experience. Cows provide more types of useful resources than all other passive mobs (excluding the Mooshroom) and can be used to provide the player with an unlimited supply of meat (uncooked raw beef or cooked steak), milk, and leather. Additionally, killing or breeding the cows will give the player experience.
All cows can be milked infinitely by the player. This is done by holding a bucket and right-clicking on the cow’s udder. The bucket will immediately be filled with milk, which can then be consumed as an antidote to poison or used as an ingredient.
If a cow is killed, it will drop 0 - 2 pieces of leather, 1 - 3 pieces of raw beef, and 1 - 3 experience. If the cow died while on fire, it will drop steak rather than raw beef and will only drop experience in this case if the player has hit it or started the fire. Killing a calf will give you nothing.
Cows roam the Overworld, usually in herds of 4 to 10 (however, it is not uncommon to find a lone cow that has wandered from its herd). They tend to walk around slowly and aimlessly, mooing occasionally. They also tend to jump off high cliffs and make no attempt to stay out of water. They also can climb ladders in certain conditions.
Cows are passive to the player and will not attack under any circumstances, though like all passive mobs, it may turn to look at the player if the player comes near. An adult cow will follow the player if he/she is holding wheat, which is used for breeding, even if attempting to do so could prove deadly to the cow. If attacked, they will jump wildly and emit a cry of pain before trying to flee by running around erratically. Shortly after, the cow will become calm again and resume its idle wandering.
In the Xbox 360 Edition, cows are unaware of cliffs and holes in the ground, leading to them occasionally fall and die from excessive fall damage, if not fall in lava or mob traps.
 Breeding and offspring
If cows are given wheat, their love mode will be triggered and they will pair off to create calves, which may grant the player a small amount of experience. The parent cows will then have a delay of 5 minutes before they can breed again.
Unless they are separated, calves will follow their parents or other adult cows until they become adults themselves. A calf looks similar to an adult cow, but its body is smaller even though the head is the size of that of an adult cow. This results in an infantile, bobble-headed look. Calves also move more quickly and make higher-pitched noises than adult cows. They do not drop anything when killed, but they can be milked despite their immaturity. They take 20 minutes to fully grow, at which point they will instantly become full-sized adults.
In creative mode, calves can be spawned by right-clicking on an adult cow with a cow spawn egg. However in Pocket Edition, you can spawn calves randomly with spawn eggs.
Cows are necessary in order to complete the achievements "The Lie", "Cow Tipper", and "Repopulation".
|Icon||Achievement||In-game description||Prerequisites||Actual requirements (if different)||Version restriction||Xbox points earned|
|The Lie||Wheat, sugar, milk, and eggs!||Time to Farm!||Pick up a Cake from a Crafting Table.||Both||40G|
|Cow Tipper||Harvest some leather||Time to Strike!||Pick up Leather from the ground.||Both||15G|
|Repopulation||Breed two cows with wheat||Cow Tipper||PC||N/A|
|1.0.8||Added cows. They make noise similar to a kazoo and are black and white.|
|1.0.9||Cows now make a more realistic cow sound.|
|1.0.14||Added cow horns. Cows have a new look, brown with white spots, instead of black with white spots.|
|1.8||Updated cow AI as part of the first AI update; they now run away when attacked.|
|Added raw beef and steak.|
|1.0.0||1.9pre3||Added baby cows.|
|Cows can be bred with wheat.|
|1.2.1||12w07a||Updated cow AI.|
|1.4.2||12w38a||Added new step, hurt, and idle sounds.|
|1.8||14w02a||Baby cow growth can be accelerated using wheat.|
|Pocket Edition Alpha|
|0.3.0||Cows were added.|
|0.6.0||Baby cows were added.|
|Cows can now drop leather.|
|0.7.0||Cow spawn eggs were added to Creative.|
|0.8.0||Cows are attracted to wheat and can be bred.|
|TU5||Cows will run away when attacked.|
|TU7||Added baby cows.|
|Cows can be bred with wheat.|
Issues relating to "Cow" are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.
- Cows in the PC Gamer Demo of Minecraft are branded with a 'PCG' logo on their side.
- Because of the lack of hierarchy in every box model, the horns of the cow are sometimes misplaced. Jeb is planning to fix this.
- Notch stated in a tweet that all breedable peaceful mobs displayed traits of both genders and could breed with any other individual of their species. This also applies to cows, since they have horns and give milk (although some cow females of certain breeds do have horns).
- Cows are able to climb up elevation but are unable to climb down inclines lower than two blocks.
- Because cooked beef is equal to cooked porkchops, it is more profitable to breed cows instead of pigs. While pigs only provide porkchops; cows not only provide beef, but also milk and leather. Also cows need wheat to breed, which is both easier to obtain and less nutritious for the player than carrots, the item required to breed pigs.
A cow begging at the player holding a piece of wheat.