Something I learned today is that cows tend to start walking around a bunch when they become fertile and “sexually receptive.” This is actually true of a range of different mammals and has to do with related increases in estrogen secretion. The mood hits one evening and a fertile cow starts cruising the barn—the rest is nature.
Well, the rest is nature but it’s also big business. Ranchers are just as interested in cow procreation as the cows are themselves (maybe more so?) because baby cows equal grown-ass cows and grown-ass cows equal cash money. As it turns out, using information technology to detect cow fertility/receptivity (estrus, properly) is an area of active research and innovation. Cow estrus can pass in as little as six hours, and it usually occurs in the middle of the night. It’s an easy thing to miss, in other words. And missing your chance to knock up a cow is like flushing money down the toilet.