Cows Eat Free at Chick-fil-A Today

Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A

It’s that time again! Time for Cow Appreciation Day! That means free food for cow-costume-clad Chick-fil-A customers. That’s right — cows eat free at Chick-fil-A all day long every second Tuesday of July.

Our family is full of Chick-fil-A fans, but none more avid than my husband. Busy physician that he is, Doug sometimes has to go without breakfast or lunch. So he often stops by Chick-fil-A on his way home from the hospital for an after-work snack (AKA “first dinner”).

And by often, I mean every day. Twelve piece nuggets, a large ice tea, and a cup of ice dream with chocolate sauce. The workers know him by name and his order by heart.

Cow Appreciation Day - Dan and Rachel

When Doug went vegan for six weeks in 2016, they must have wondered what happened to their most faithful patron. They saw nary a sign of him for 42 days straight. (This, despite the fact Chick-fil-A’s delicious kale superfood salad would’ve let him enjoy the best of both worlds.)

Nevertheless, my husband’s cravings eventually got the better of him. So he ditched the vegan experiment in favor of those irresistible nuggets.

Cow Appreciation Day

Just before one of our sons (also an anesthesiologist) got hitched, I overheard his father offering him the following advice on how to have a happy marriage: “Find a Chick-fil-A close to the hospital and swing by after work so you won’t be starving when you get home. That way, you’ll be in a better mood when you see your wife. And it won’t matter if dinner isn’t ready as soon as you walk through the door.”

This unconventional advice undoubtedly says as much about my cooking – or lack thereof – as it does about my husband’s fondness for chicken nuggets and sweet ice tea. But we do have a happy marriage, so I guess his secret strategy worked!

Cow Appreciation Day - Ben and Mik

All this to say… one of our family’s favorite summer traditions is celebrating Cow Appreciation Day. It’s the one day a year when cows can eat free at Chick-fil-A.

My daughter first got wind of this celebration many years ago and stayed up half the night making costumes. Since then, we’ve never missed it. We even take our costumes on vacation with us if we happen to be traveling when it rolls back around.

We visited Carlsbad Caverns on Cow Appreciation Day

It raised a few eyebrows when our little herd of Holsteins stampeded through Carlsbad Caverns a few years back, but the bats didn’t seem to mind, and the free lunch we enjoyed afterwards was worth all the funny looks the other tourists gave us.

Abby and Grayson on Cow Appreciation Day

If you don’t already have a closet full of cowhide handy, don’t worry. Chick-fil-A makes it easy for folks to participate by providing a free printable “cow starter kit.” How “udderly” amazing is that?

We printed out a whole stack of these out when we first “herd” about this promotion, laminated them, and have been using them ever since — along with our hand-painted T-shirts and, more recently, matching baseball caps. (Our kids like to add new touches to our costumes every year.)

So, if you like chicken sandwiches (or kale salad!) as much as we do, don your horns and hooves and moooove on over to your nearest Chick-fil-A. Maybe our family will “spot” you there!

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