And do they show when they know it's going to rain by lying down, as the common saying suggests. Or is this just folklore?

A quote on this Discovery Channel discussion board says this:

Cows are quite large and heavy which could easily put a lot of strain on their joints and cause a lot of arthritis. Arthritis flares up when a low pressure system comes along, which could make cows want to lay down and take the pain off their aching joints. Of course there is no real way to test this. It is just a thought. With no way to test it it's just pseudo-science, but it does at least show there could be a logical reason this belief COULD be true.

Have there ever been any studies on the subject? Any conclusions?

  • 1
    As for the arthritis as a possible cause see skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/2001/…
    – Suma
    Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 14:10
  • 1
    How long before the rain do they lay down? Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 14:43
  • Look, seriously, if they are going to lie down, it aint going to be just before it hooeys down now are they. I would have thought this ones just plain daft.
    – Hairy
    Commented Jul 27, 2011 at 7:47


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