Frequently Asked Questions
Who can resist a cow? They're cute, sweet and universally beloved animals - and they're a great surprise in major urban centers. They also present a unique, 3-dimensional, curvy canvas for artists. See for yourself: look at one of the cows and try not to smile.
What are the cows most vital statistics?
The cows come in three poses - grazing, sitting and standing - as seen on the CowParade logo. Artists may adjust these poses using creative methods.
Specific dimensions for each of the cow poses:
Standing Cow Head Up
95" long x 29" wide x 57" high
girth 83" around stomach
Grazing Cow Head Down
84" long x 29" wide x 48" high
girth 83 around stomach
88" long x 44" wide x 42" high
Each hollow, unpainted fiberglass cow weighs approximately 100 pounds. The cows stand on a 300 to 500 pound concrete base to keep them from moooving.
When and where can I see the cows?
CowParades public display will kick off on September 1, 2001 and run through November 30, 2001. During and after the event visit the official CowParade Web site at www.cowparade.net to view the cows in their permanent pasture on the internet.
What are the cows made of?
The cows are made of fiberglass reinforced with re-bar, and are manufactured to the highest standards in the United States.
How can the cows have both horns and udders?
The CowParade cows are the same models used in the original exhibition in Zurich, Switzerland. The cows are the "Brown Swiss" breed, a traditional Swiss milking cow. All cows are actually born with both horns and udders. American milking cows typically have their horns removed at birth for safety reasons, but their more daring Swiss cousins don't.
What happens to a cow that becomes damaged or weathered?
While generally quite durable, the CowParade cows occasionally suffer from outright vandalism or just a bit too much love from the public. Cows who need some TLC are temporarily taken to a "Cow Hospital" for repairs.
Do the cows leave behind a mess?
Unlike the real thing, CowParade cows do not require clean-up - or at least they didn't until Chicago artist Robert Koutny came along. Koutny created "cow pies" matching many of the bovine works of art, placing them behind the masterpieces. While an unauthorized addition to the exhibit, many Chicagoans got a good chuckle out of Koutny's creativity.
"Cow Crossings", cars, and other animals?
A collection of cows certainly can be a startling sight... When the cows first appeared in Chicago, curious motorists often slowed down to have a good look, causing traffic delays. The Chicago Department of Transportation put up 14 "Cow Crossing" signs in areas with clusters of cows.
An unexpected problem arose with the city's carriage horses. Because they tolerate the traffic and city noises so well, no one gave a thought to how the horses might react to the cows. But horses are often spooked by the unfamiliar - and the cows were definitely unfamiliar. The solution? A bit of supervised socializing. An unpainted cow was sent to spend some time with the horses, and gradually they learned that the cows were just another part of the city landscape.
Taking a tip from Chicago, New York City took several unpainted cows to the Police stables for their horses to become familiar with them. As is their custom, the New York City horses were unfazed.
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