Introduction to Cattle
Cattle, the collective term for the domestic cow, bull, and steer, and the zebu. It is also used to refer to other animals of the genus Bos, including the banteng, gaur, kouprey, and yak.
Female cattle are called cows; males are bulls. The young are called calves. Heifers are young cows. Most male beef cattle are castrated when they are calves; they are then called steers. Steers produce the best quality meat. A castrated male raised as a work animal is usually called an ox. The term “ox” is also used to refer to any animal of the cattle genus. .)
Cattle supply meat and milk. Their hides are tanned into leather and the hair is used to make felt. The bones are used in making fertilizer, boneblack (a pigment), and other products. The fat, also known as tallow, is used in making lubricants, soap, and margarine and in candlemaking. The glands supply many hormones used in medicine. Horns and hooves are used to make glue and neatsfoot oil, which is used to dress leather. In many countries, cattle are used as draft animals, pulling plows and vehicles; to work treadmills; and as pack animals. Bullfighting is a sport in some countries. .)
Three types of cattle are raised: dairy cattle; beef cattle; and dual-purpose cattle, raised for both milk and meat. This article is limited to beef cattle and dual-purpose cattle. ; .