Cows are common to all biomes in the Overworld 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 rare Mooshroom) and can be used to provide the player with an unlimited supply of 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. Using the milk in either way will return the empty bucket to the player.
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.
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 falling and dying from excessive fall damage, if not falling in lava or mob traps.
 Breeding and offspring
- Main article: Breeding
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.
Cows are necessary in order to complete the achievements "The Lie" and "Cow Tipper".
|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|
|1.0.14||Added cow horns.|
|1.8||Updated cow AI as part of the first AI update; they now flee and jump wildly when attacked (the same for most other mobs).|
|Added raw beef and steak.|
|1.2.1||12w07a||Updated cow AI.|
|1.4.2||12w38a||Added new step, hurt, and idle sounds.|
|Pocket Edition Alpha|
|0.3.0||Cows were added.|
|0.6.0||Baby cows were added.|
|Cows can now drop leather.|
Issues relating to "Cow" are maintained on Mojira. 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 easier than carrots to obtain, which are needed to breed pigs.
A cow begging at the player, holding a piece of wheat.