Trivia and Information on Cattle
One of the most common livestock animals is the cow. As a group they are collectively known as cattle. The term “cow” itself is a confusing one, actually referring specifically only to an adult female who has had at least one calf. Learn more interesting information and trivia on cattle.
Cattle have been domesticated for roughly 10,000 years. Initially they were used for meat and hides, later for draft work and dairy. Cattle were domesticated before horses.
Cattle have other uses, in some areas they are not killed for meat, but rather they are bled regularly and their blood is consumed. In some parts of the world bulls are used for entertainment of blood-sport called bullfighting. Many animals are also used in the rodeos.
It is estimated that for every 6 humans on the earth, there is one cow, as such we have just over 1.4 billion cattle currently on the planet.
Calf – young animal prior to weaning, if male it is a bull calf, if female it is a heifer calf
Heifer – young female who has not had a calf
Bull – intact male
Steer – castrated male
Ox – an animal used for draft work
Polled – having no horns
Non-polled – has horns
Facts, Trivia, and Information on Cattle
Cows have no upper front teeth.
Although it is often said that cattle have four stomachs, this is not true, they have one stomach with four compartments, the largest of which is the rumen.
Cattle have the ability to regurgitate hard to digest food to chew it and then swallow it again for further digestion. They are said to be “chewing their cud”. The cud feeds micro-organisms in the animal's rumen, when those organisms die the cow digests them, and they provide protein; this is why cattle (and other ruminants) can survive eating grass and humans cannot.
Cattle produce 15 to 20 gallons of saliva a day.
Cattle are a major contributing factor to green house gases, through burping and flatulence.
Because they have to eat so much, cattle only sleep 4 to 6 hours a day.
Cattle cannot see red, they are colorblind to it, but they can see blue and yellow.
Cattle are pregnant for 9 months, roughly 283 days, often calving in the winter or early spring.
Calves of dairy animals are usually taken away after only a few days so the cow can be milked. The young calves are then bottle fed. The male calves are slaughtered young for veal, and rennet (an ingredient in some cheeses).
Cows can hold up their milk, not letting their calf drink, or not allowing somebody to milk them, unless they are fully relaxed.
An average dairy cow may produce over 20,000 lbs (9,100 kg) of milk per year. Cattle who produce less than 12 liters per day are often culled.
The normal lifespan of a cow is over 20 years.
India has the most cattle; Hindu scripture says they are to be treated with respect. Killing them is seen as wrong because a live cow gives milk, and the males can work. Their dung can be used for fertilizer. It is a bit of a misunderstanding among people of the west who often think cattle are worshiped in India, they are not.
There are over 500 different cattle breeds in the world.