Milk from cows is a significant part of many food items; in addition to its direct consumption as a beverage, it is used to make a wide range of products including butter, yogurt, cheese, and ice cream. Domestic cows are one of the most common farm animals around the world, and the English language has several words to describe these animals at various ages. Cows may also serve as a measure of wealth, and they are even worshipped as sacred animals in some religions see sanctity of the cow. To aid in this process, cows regurgitate and re-chew food multiple times before it passes on to the rest of the digestive system via the other stomach chambers. Even though cows can live for 20 years or more, older dairy cows are often culled from commercial herds and used for meat when their milk yield begins to decline. See Article History Cow, in common parlance, a domestic bovine, regardless of sex and age, usually of the species Bos taurus. Domestication and economic production Cows are currently the most common domesticated ungulate hoofed mammal , and they are found wherever humans live.
An adult male is known as a bull. To aid in this process, cows regurgitate and re-chew food multiple times before it passes on to the rest of the digestive system via the other stomach chambers. Dairy cattle breeds A comparison of selected breeds of dairy cattle is provided in the table. Different breeds of dairy cows have been bred for specific milk characteristics, such as to maximize yield or to produce a desired level of fat in the milk. In precise usage, the name is given to mature females of several large mammals , including cattle bovines , moose , elephants , sea lions , and whales. A group of cows, cattle, or kine an archaic term for more than one cow constitutes a herd. Inside the rumen , the largest chamber of the stomach, bacteria and other microorganisms digest tough plant fibres cellulose. Cows belong to the family Bovidae hollow-horned ruminants , which also includes antelope , sheep , and goats , subfamily Bovinae which includes buffaloes and spiral-horned antelope , tribe Bovini which includes cattle, bison , and yak , and genus Bos—the names of which are all derived from bos, the Latin word for cow. All mammals produce milk to feed their young, but dairy cattle, such as the well-known Holstein-Friesian cow, have been specially bred to produce very large quantities of milk. This enables them to quickly ingest large quantities of grass while in the vulnerable head-down position required for grazing. Hereford cow and calf. The meat of adult cows is known as beef ; meat from calves typically slaughtered at three months of age is known as veal. Cows are renowned for their large milk-producing mammary glands known as udders, which possess four teats nipples. Domestic cattle Cows are members of the order Artiodactyla. See Article History Cow, in common parlance, a domestic bovine, regardless of sex and age, usually of the species Bos taurus. Cows are used by humans in many other ways, such as a source of leather for clothing and other products and, albeit controversially, as participants in sporting events e. Adults have 32 teeth but lack upper incisors and canines—they have a gummy pad instead that is used to help rip up grass. Cows may also serve as a measure of wealth, and they are even worshipped as sacred animals in some religions see sanctity of the cow. A baby cow is called a calf. The most specialized adaptation that cows and other ruminants have is their massive four-chambered stomach , which acts as a fermentation vat. Regional specializations led to the formation of a range of varieties, or breeds, that were adapted to different climates or that were selectively bred to emphasize valuable characteristics, such as milk or meat production. Most modern milking is not done by hand but by machines. In addition to muscle meat, a variety of organs from cows—including liver , kidney , heart , brains , and various glands —are also consumed by people. Young neutered males, which are primarily raised for beef , are called steers or bullocks, whereas adult neutered males, which are usually used for draft purposes, are known as oxen. Mature males weigh —1, kg 1,—4, pounds and females weigh —1, kg —2, pounds.
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