Why Do Swiss Cows Wear Bells?

According to Smithsonian Magazine, Swiss cows wear bells to make it easier to find them in Alpine meadows and when they wander away from the herd. Swiss farmers hang bells around their cows' necks before bringing the cows to higher elevations during summer and lower elevations for the snowy season.

Cow bells are typically made from sheet metal, copper, iron, brass or bronze, with a collar made from wood fibers and leather. Two typical styles include: Treicheln, which is made of hammered metal, and Glocken, which is made out of cast metal. Using bells with distinct sounds helps farmers identify cows by specific characteristics, such as gender and age.