How much do you know about farm animals?

cow nose

If Old McDonald invited you to visit the farm, would you be able to hold up your end of the conversation? Test your knowledge of farm animal trivia.

Question 1 of 14

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sheep looking at camera
Other than a dog, what animal do some farmers use to protect their sheep from predators?

Llamas are naturally protective of their flock and guard llamas will defend sheep, alpacas, hens and other livestock from predators like coyotes and foxes. Along with making distinctive alarm calls, they will even run at and kick dangerous intruders.

Question 2 of 14

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pigs being cute
How smart are pigs?

Pigs have sophisticated communication skills, are great at solving problems, and can even work together to escape from their pens. Professor Donald Broom of the Cambridge University Veterinary School notes that, “[Pigs] have the cognitive ability to be quite sophisticated. Even more so than dogs and certainly [more so than human] 3-year-olds.”

Question 3 of 14

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cows on hill
Leo Viëtor/Flickr
When were cows first domesticated?

Researchers once suspected that Africans domesticated local cattle about 10,000 years ago. However more recent genetic research points toward the possibility that today's domesticated cows are descended from as few as 80 aurochs tamed in Mesopotamia about 10,500 years ago. Either way, cattle have been a big part of human culture for a very long time.

Question 4 of 14

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sheep and baby geep
YouTube screenshot
What do you get when you cross a goat and a sheep?

Since the recent birth of a very rare goat-sheep hybrid in Ireland, "geep" has been a term more people are familiar with. The adorable and odd little geep (born in March 2014) made headlines around the world, mainly because the already rare matings between goats and sheep usually result in stillborns. This geep is considered extremely unique.

Question 5 of 14

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baby rabbits
Eduard Kyslynskyy/Shutterstock
What are baby rabbits called?

While male rabbits are called "bucks" and female rabbits are called "does," baby rabbits aren't "fawns." Nor are they "bunnies," another popular misconception. Baby rabbits are actually called "kittens," which is usually shortened to "kits."

Question 6 of 14

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farmer with cows
"Away to me" is something a farmer says to:

"Away to me" is a command farmers use when working with a dog to herd livestock. It means go to the right of the stock, or counterclockwise around them. Other commands include "come by," which means to go to the left of the stock, and "cast," which means to gather the stock into a group. (The photo of the farmer with the cows was just to throw you off!)

Question 7 of 14

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What is the most abundant livestock animal in the world?

According to statistics from the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization, chickens are far and away the most populous livestock animal worldwide, with cattle coming in second, and sheep and pigs following in third and fourth place.

Question 8 of 14

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team of mules
Gregory Johnston/Shutterstock
What do you get when you cross a female donkey with a male horse?

A hinny is the offspring of a female donkey that has been bred to a male horse. The only difference between a hinny and a mule (the offspring of a male donkey bred to a female horse) is that hinnies are slightly smaller and have slightly shorter ears than mules. They're more rare than mules, simply because it's easier to breed a mare with a jackass than a jenny with a stallion.

Question 9 of 14

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Turkeys are native to:

Turkeys are native to North America and are one of only two species from the continent to be domesticated (the other being the Muscovy duck). The Aztecs domesticated the subspecies of wild turkey that was brought to Europe by the Spanish, where further breeds were developed and later brought back to the continent by the pilgrims. Wild turkeys are still found only in North America.

Question 10 of 14

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draft horses plowing field
Conny Sjostrom/Shutterstock
A horse collar is used on draft horses to help them pull plows, carts and other heavy loads. When was it invented?

The horse collar was invented in China in the 5th century and allowed horses to pull more weight and without pressure on their windpipes. With ox yokes and harnesses used in earlier times, the harder a horse pulled, the less it was able to breathe. The horse collar was a radical improvement. The invention was introduced to Europe in the 9th century and spread throughout the continent by the 12th century.

Question 11 of 14

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chicken on fence
Chickens love to bathe in:

As is the case with many farm animals, a good dirt bath is pure heaven for a chicken. They like to dig a shallow pit in the dirt, squat down, spread and shake their wings and kick up the dirt to get a good dusting. The dust baths help the birds ward off parasites and maintain good insulation in their plumage.

Question 12 of 14

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cow breeds being shown
How many breeds of cow are there worldwide?

There are over 800 breeds of cow recognized worldwide, with different breeds specialized for different purposes from beef to dairy to agricultural work. Breeds of cow fall into two main types, those that are adapted to hot climates, and those adapted to cool climates. The variety is staggering!

Question 13 of 14

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dog breeds
Erik Lam/Shutterstock
There are dozens of breeds of dogs used for shepherding worldwide. In Australia, the most popular breed for working livestock is:

For mustering sheep and cattle in the Land Down Under, the most popular breed is the Australian kelpie. They are hardy, work on natural instinct and need little guidance, and can go long distances in extreme climates. Meanwhile in the U.S., another Australian breed is popular on ranches: the Australian cattle dog. The border collie is also a highly popular breed for ranch dogs in the U.S.

Question 14 of 14

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rooster and hens
Roosters perform a little dance to impress hens. The dance is called:

To get the attention of hens, roosters will do a little dance that includes bobbing their heads up and down, making food calls, and picking up and dropping pieces of food. This dance is called tidbitting. Hens prefer roosters that do plenty of tidbitting and also have large, bright combs on their heads.

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