Yes, you read the headline correctly. There's a place in New York where you can actually look inside a living cow.

If your mouth is currently hanging open, no one would blame you. The first time I heard about this opportunity, I couldn't believe my ears... until I saw the cows. Real life cows with holes in their sides that show all the way down to their stomachs.

You can visit cows in New York with holes in their stomachs, otherwise known as fistulated cows
There are cows in New York with literal holes in their sides (Perboge via Canva)

Cows with Holes in Their Sides Are Living in New York

The technical term for these animals are fistulated cows, and the reason for the holes in their sides is quite scientific. The cows, which are otherwise unaltered and can live relatively normal lives despite the tunnels installed in their bodies, can be used to help save the lives of other farm animals.

The process of installing a fistula in a cow is surprisingly quick and relatively simple
The process of installing a fistula in a cow is surprisingly quick and relatively simple (Perboge via Canva)

Why Are There Fistulated Cows in New York?

A fistulated cow is a cow with a rumen fistula (or cannula), which is a medically-created hole that connects the cow's rumen (one of the animal's stomach compartments) with the outside world. It allows access to the cow's gut microbes, which can be harvested and used medicinally:

Transfaunation — the act of taking microbes from one source and putting them in another — can be a literal lifesaver when it comes to a bovine bellyache... Rumen flora from a fistulated cow helps not only sick cows, but also sheep and goats because they share similar digestive systems

Put simply, cows (and sheep and goats) rely on the microbes to help digest their food. If the "bugs" get sick, their host animals do too, and a transfer of healthy microbes from a fistulated cow can make all the difference. But where can you see one?

Where to See a Fistulated Cow in New York

Installing a fistula on a cow is surprisingly quick and relatively easy, and these animals can be found at many veterinarian schools across the country. A surefire destination in New York is the animal science program at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.

The animal science program at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY has cows with holes in their sides that show the interior of their stomach
Cornell University via Facebook

Fistulated Cows at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY

Cornell University has one of the most respected animal science programs in the country, and they have offered numerous opportunities to interact with their fistulated cows during open house events (above). Want to get even closer? Maybe it's time to enroll in veterinarian school!

There's A Farm In Kentucky Where You Can Hug And Play With Fluffy Cows

Just a short drive from Evansville is a farm where you can hug and play with fluffy cows, and they are adorable.

Gallery Credit: Travis Sams

WOW! Stunning $25 Million Silvernails Farm in Upstate New York For Sale

This property located in Columbia County is on the market for twenty-five million dollars. It's the priciest residential listing in the Hudson Valley. There are four old Dutch barns with one dating back to the mid-1700s. The other barns date back to the 1920s. The estate's main house is 7500 square feet with four bedrooms, five bathrooms, and floor-to-ceiling windows. The primary bedroom has a yoga deck that overlooks the property. The kitchen has three-inch limestone countertops and a commercial stove.
The outside is just as impressive featuring a 60-foot pool, an outdoor kitchen with radiant floor heating, and overhead heaters for cooler nights. There is also a full question operation. It isn't active but has been maintained. There is a caretaker's apartment above the barn.
According to the Albany Business Review, if this property sells for $25 million, it will be the most expensive home sale ever for Columbia County.

Gallery Credit: 2023 Global MLS