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Telling the difference between bull and cow

Uploaded on 05 Jul 2021
Telling the difference between bull and cow

Cow, bull, heifer, steer and calf are all words that you need to be familiar with if you are going to participate in the cattle industry. Purchasing a bull when you meant to buy a cow or steer likely will not lead to the desired outcome. It is essential that you have a solid grasp of basic cattle terminology before you go shopping for your first cow. How to tell the difference between bull and cow?

Let’s start with the basics. The cow is the female; the bull is the male. Cow = female, bull =male. A cow is actually a mature, female bovine that has had at least one or two calves. Many people mistakenly refer to a "cow" as a highly general (or colloquial) term for all bovines regardless of gender, size, age, type, or breed. It should be noted that most, if not all veteran cattle people do not use the colloquial term "cow" as frequently as one may think. Quite often, in order to refer to a group of bovines in a general term, instead of calling them "cows," they are called "animals," "cattle," "critters," or even one or more explicative words that should never be mentioned on this site. Cows, on the other hand, can be distinguished apart from other genders by simply looking for a pendulous sac with four cylindrical knobs at the base--which is called an udder--between the hind legs.

A bull is a mature male who has never been castrated and is capable of breeding, which is their primary use in a cattle operation. Bulls can be aggressive and are capable of causing injury to any animals or humans they view as a threat. Bulls are much more muscular than cows, with thicker bones, larger feet, a very muscular neck, and a large, bony head with protective ridges over the eyes. These features assist bulls in fighting for domination over a herd, giving the winner superior access to cows for reproduction. The hair is generally shorter on the body, but on the neck and head there is often a "mane" of curlier, wooly hair. Bulls are usually about the same height as cows or a little taller, but because of the additional muscle and bone mass they often weigh far more.

What’s the difference between bull and cow?

·         A cow is a matured female member of the Bovine subfamily, while the bull is a grown male bovine who hasn’t been castrated.

·         A cow is herded as livestock and gives birth to calves, while a bull helps in the reproduction process of calves and can be used for meat.

·         The term cow, in general, refers to the female animals of many large mammalian species, while the bull is used to refer to males of buffalos and bovines.

·         Cows are a calmer, more gentle members of bovine, while bulls are seen to be violent and dangerous.

·         Cows can live up to 20 years of age and can be of service for a majority of that time, while bulls are serviceable for a maximum of 12 years only.

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