Cows lie down to ruminate, a process that increases their milk production. Cows can lie down for up to 14 hours a day, although only a half an hour of that time is spent sleeping.
Each resting period lasts between 30 minutes and three hours. A cow often rises just long enough to stretch and lie back down on the other side. In addition to promoting milk production, the resting period allows the cow's hooves to dry. Cows do not lie down if they have inadequate space or uncomfortable bedding, and this lack of rest disrupts the animal's natural behavior and feeding pattern.