Bottom Content goes here.
Wikipedia content requires these links.....
Wikipedia content is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
Cattle are domesticated ungulates that
are raised for beef, dairy products
(milk), and leather, and used for draft
(pulling plows and the like). Archaic
sources such as the Bible also refer to Scientific classification
livestock in general of various kinds as Kingdom: Animalia
cattle. This article refers to the
common modern meaning of cattle. Phylum: Chordata
Young cattle are called calves. Young Order: Artiodactyla
males are called bullocks or bull
calves; young females are called Family: Bovidae
heifers. Ordinarily male cattle are Genus: Bos
castrated unless needed for breeding.
The castrated male is then called a Species
steer, unless kept for draft (pulling)
in which case it is called an ox. Intact males are called bulls. Adult
females over two years of age (approximately) are called cows.
There is no singular equivalent to "cattle" other than the various gender
and age-specific terms (though "Catron" has been proposed it is not widely
accepted or even understood). "Cow" is probably the closest to being
gender-neutral, although it is usually understood to mean female (females of
other animals, such as whales or elephants, are also called cows.) Some
Canadian farmers use the term "cattlebeast." "Neat" and "beef" are
Oxen continue to be widely used for draft, mainly in less developed nations.
Though slower than horses, they are easier to keep and less prone to injury.
Cattle are ruminants, meaning that they have a unique digestive system that
allows them to synthesize amino acids. This allows them to thrive on grasses
and other vegetation.
Cattle occupy a unique role in human history. Some consider them the oldest
form of wealth. Their ability to provide meat, dairy, and draft while
reproducing themselves and eating nothing but grass has furthered human
interests dramatically through the millenia.
In Latin America and the western United States, cattle are often grazed on
large tracts of rangeland called ranchos or ranches.
The last European wild cattle, called aurochs, were killed by poachers in
Masovia, Poland, in 1627, though one breeder claims to have recreated the
original gene pool by careful crossing of commercial breeds.
Oxen (Bos taurus) (plural of ox) are cattle trained as draft animals. Most
often they are adult, castrated males. Usually an ox is over four years old
due to the need for training and for time to grow to full size. The term
steer is used to describe animals of the same species and gender when raised
solely for meat. Oxen are used for plowing, transport, hauling,
grain-grinding, and wagon drawing. Oxen are sometimes used to skid logs in
low-impact select cut logging.
Oxen are most often used in teams of two. A wooden yoke is fastened about
their necks so that the force of draft is distributed across their
shoulders. Oxen are chosen from calves with horns, since the horns hold the
yoke in place when the oxen back up or slow down a wheeled load going down hills.
Oxen must be painstakingly trained from a young age. Their teamster must
fashion or purchase as many as a dozen yokes of different sizes as the
Oxen can pull harder than horses but are not as fast. There are still a
substantial number of them in use worldwide.
The ox is one of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese
zodiac related to the Chinese calendar.
In Hinduism, cattle is considered holy and eating beef is forbidden.