It seems that bovines have a compass-esque 6th sense. The teams who did this research also noticed the same of red and roe deer.
The data on 2,974 deer came from direct ground observations and photos in the Czech Republic. Researchers also examined fresh beds left by resting deer in the snow, where the animals had sought shelter deep in the forest away from the wind, so that was not a variable.
Wind and time of day did not offer better explanations for why 8,510 cattle in 308 locations around the world would mostly face north-south. Both cattle and deer faced a more magnetic north-south direction rather than geographic north-south, (Earth’s magnetic poles do not line up perfectly with the North and South Poles).
Previous research has shown that animals including birds, turtles, certain bat species, and salmon migrate using this sense of magnetic direction.
However, the researchers suggest that the finding of large animals’ sense of north-south direction could raise other agricultural questions, such as how keeping cows in barns facing east-west might affect milk production.