When killed, a cow can drop up to 2 pieces of leather, as well as up to 3 pieces of raw beef. If the cow dies while on fire, steak will be dropped instead of beef. A cow can be milked by right clicking it with an empty bucket selected. Due to the fact that cows can be bred an unlimited number of times using renewable wheat, all of the cow's products are renewable.
Cows roam the Overworld in herds of 3–8, although they can sometimes roam alone after being away from their pack and can be observed jumping up slight inclines and falling to their deaths from tall cliffs and overhangs. Cows often spawn in snowy and plains biomes. Cows will make no attempt to stay out of water, and will bob up and down to stay afloat. They will flee when attacked and tend to walk around, lowing (mooing), like most passive mobs.
Calves are the offspring of two adult cows. In order to breed cows, one must give each of them a portion of wheat. Many red hearts will appear around each of the cows when they are fed (this is called "Love Mode"). After entering Love Mode, a small calf will appear near the parents. Like adult cows, these calves can be milked, despite their immaturity. Like other baby animals, Calves do not drop any items when killed.
Rare cows that spawn in the mushroom biome.
- Cows in the PC Gamer demo of Minecraft are branded with a 'PCG' logo on their side.
- In Survival Multiplayer, clicking anywhere on the cow with a bucket selected will fill it with milk, but only at the maximum distance at which players can use the bucket.
- As of Beta 1.3_01, the pink of the cow's ear may also be milked.
- In 1.8, cows seem to be less common than other passive mobs. This may be due to the fact that cows give an abundance of resources including beef, leather, and milk whereas other passive mobs give less, since 1.8.
- It takes one full Minecraft day or 20 minutes for calves to become fully mature cows.
- In 1.4, the cow's sounds were changed slightly, such as new step sounds and idle sounds.
- If a Player kills a cow and gets its leather, the achievement "Cow Tipper" will be unlocked.
- In Minecraft, all cows are female since female cows can be milked; however, all cows can still breed and have offspring.
- All the cows in Minecraft resemble the Norwegian Red cattle.
- Cows in older versions used to sound more stressed when hit by the player.
- Cows can spawn in village pens as of 1.14.