Domestic Cattle

Bos taurus

Our Domesticated Cattle: Cows

Cattle are the domesticated forms of the once wild aurochs. They have been breed over the ages to give us almost 2000 different breeds today.  Some are bred with wild forms such as yaks or bison to give even more bizzare breeds.  Each breed has unique characteristics that set it apart from others. While there are too many breeds to name each here, we have featured the most common ones to show you the vast diversity in this species.

Cattle Breeds

Africander: Cattle from this breed were bred originally in South Africa, originating from the Hottentot cattle. They have a typical sanga type with a small neck hump, a large dewlap, and lateral horns (although some have no horns). This breed is generally red in color and extremely tolerant of heat. It was imported to the King Ranch and exists in several southern places in the US.

Angus: Cattle from this breed …

Ankole-Watusi: Cattle from this breed …

Aubrac: Cattle from this breed …

Ayrshire: Cattle from this breed …

Barzona: Cattle from this breed …

Beefalo: Cattle from this breed …

Beefmaster: Cattle from this breed …

Belgian Blue: See how Belgian Blues are selectively bred for double-muscling in this video.

Blonde d’Aquitaine: Cattle from this breed …

Quick Cattle Facts

  • The top two beef-producing countries worldwide are the US and Brazil.
  • There are nine states where there are more cattle than humans: Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.
  • Cattle produce about fifteen to twenty gallons of saliva per day.
  • A half ton cow produces 4 tons of manure each year.
  • On average a cow will chew over 40,000 times a day!
  • A family of four could eat hamburgers each day for almost 6 months from a single cow!
  • You can make almost 20 footballs from the leather of a single cow.

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Written by Rob Nelson

Rob is an ecologist from the University of Hawaii. He is the co-creator and director of Untamed Science. His goal is to create videos and content that are entertaining, accurate, and educational. When he's not making science content, he races whitewater kayaks and works on Stone Age Man.

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