We all have those nights out with friends. Perhaps you're attending trivia night at your local tavern or playing trivial pursuit or watching jeopardy. Whatever the case may be, there's always that one friend who is full of useless knowledge.
Now you can be that friend! Here are some ridiculously silly facts about farming, so the next time you need to share knowledge on a farm topic you can get these pointers across as a fun way to strike up a conversation.
- Did you know: Cheese is actually good for your teeth? Dairy products contain certain enzymes that may help prevent against cavities. Cheese also increases saliva production, which is good for dental care. If you can't brush your teeth at night, enjoy a couple of squeaky cheese curds as a delicious and nutritious way to show your teeth some love.
- Speaking of teeth, did you know alpacas and llamas get their front teeth sheared?
- I was thinking recently of donkey-zebra mixes called zonkeys, and this reminded me of the scene of Napoleon Dynamite where Napoleon shared his sketch of a liger, which is an animal with a lion father and a tiger mother. It's pretty much his favorite animal. (By the way, ligers are real animals, as are tigons, which have tiger fathers and lion mothers.)
- A pony will always be a pony. They're just smaller horses with proportionally shorter legs and heads with a thicker mane and tail.
- The average dairy cow produces 46,000 glasses of milk per year! There are six main breeds of dairy cows with the most common being the traditional black and white Holsteins. No two cows are identical, but the average cow weighs 1,200 pounds (or 544 kilos).
- While cattle are ruminants and grazers, sheep are as well. By contrast, the differences between sheep and goats is that goats evolved to eat off the ground over time. Goats are browsers, meaning they tend to eat branches, leaves, shrubs, vines, and the like, primarily.
- Tractors were invented in the 1890s to pull plows through fields. By the 1920s, the all purpose modern tractor had been developed. With different attachments, tractors can be used for plowing, cultivating, mowing, planting, harvesting, and moving soil and heavy equipment. Before tractors, it wasn't uncommon to use horses or oxen on the farm.
- Horses are the original man’s best friend and are estimated to have been domesticated since 6000 B.C. They have the largest eyes of any land mammal, and their teeth take up more room in their head than their brain. Although the average domesticated horse has a lifespan of 25 years, the oldest horse ever recorded was "Old Billy" at 62 years old.
- Whether food crops are cultivated mechanically with tractors, with horses, or by hand, another fun fact is there is over 1,600 varieties of bananas! There are hundreds of thousands of varieties of all different kinds of edible plants.
- Fun facts about chickens? The average chicken lays an egg a day. There are more chickens than any other bird species in the world, with 25 billion chickens around the globe.
- When farm animals go to market for food, no part of that animal goes to waste. There's over 185 uses for a pig ... from brushes to paint, heart valves, fine china, cigarette filters, bullets, desserts, cement, renewable energy, etc.
Did any of these farming facts surprise you? Got any other fun facts to add? Share them in the comments!
Michelle Miller, the Farm Babe, is an Iowa-based farmer, public speaker, and writer, who lives and works with her boyfriend on their farm, which consists of row crops, beef cattle, and sheep. She believes education is key in bridging the gap between farmers and consumers.