In this essay we are going to talk about the Cows. Cattle are known as domesticated cloven-hoofed herbivores. They are members of the subfamily Bovinae. They are one of the most widespread species known as Genus Bos. Adult females are called cows whereas adult males are called bulls. But cow is mostly used as a common name for the whole species.
Short Essay On Cows
They are widely raised in many areas as livestock for meat, for milk, for hides and many more. In some places they are used as riding animals and draft animals. They also produce dung which is used widely as manure or fuel. With many benefits, they are also known for some cons. They are one of the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions from livestock. They are also responsible for around 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
One of the most common farm animals around the whole world are domestic cows.
Baby cows are known as calves. A female calf which hasn’t had any offspring is known as heifer calf. Once they give birth, they become a cow. Some young males are neutered and are used for beef and adult neutered males are used for draft carts. Herd is the word that is used for a group of cows, cattle etc. constitutes a herd.
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A wild species of cattle also existed in the past. They were known as the wild aurochs. They were found extinct in the early 1600s. Overhunting and loss of habitat were the two main reasons.
Now two types of cows are found- the humped cattle and cattle without humps. They are frequently interbreed. It was found in the genetic studies that domestic cows have descended from wild cows only.
Size and weight of a cow varies from breed to breed. Male cows which are fully matured weigh 450–1,800 kg and females weigh 360–1,100 kg. Both genders are found with horns but their size can vary from breed. Some horns are removed from cows at a very young age to make them easier to transport and safer to work around. They are well-known for their milk production.
They are well adapted for grazing as they have a wide mouth and special teeth for eating grass. They chew in circular motion. They have a massive four-chambered stomach. It acts as a fermentation vat. Cows re-chew their food multiple times before it passes down to the digestive system. The process is known as “chewing the cud”. It helps them absorb all the nutrients from food. They avoid chewing when eating food, but later when they rest they start re-chewing the food. It helps them in consuming large amounts of grass while grazing.
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They are one of the most common domestic animals. In 2016 there were nearly one billion global stock of cows. India, Brazil and China have the largest population.
There are many uses and benefits of cows. They are known as “all-purpose animals”. They are used for their milk, meat products and also used as draft. Different regions raise cows with their different specializations which led to different varieties of cows.
They also are used by humans as a source of leather for clothing and products. Some people also use them for illegal bull fighting, bull riding, etc. In some places they are even worshipped. They serve as a measure of wealth in some religions. They are two types of cattles which are bred in a different way. For meat there is beef cattle and for dairy there is dairy cattle.
All mammals are born in a way that they produce milk to feed their young. But some dairy cattle are bred in a way that produces a large quantity of milk. Only females can produce milk so they are more popular due to the demand of milk and milk products. Dairy bulls are also there but they are large, aggressive and hard to keep. Due to this most of the breeding in modern dairy operations is done through artificial insemination, with bulls having specialized specifications. Different breeds are bred for different motives like to maximize yield or to produce milk with high levels of fat. Milk is used for many things, some people consume it directly. Many milk products are also made like butter, cheese, yogurt, buttermilk etc. There is a huge demand for these products.
A dairy cow can produce milk for around 10 months. They are milked twice per day and can produce 30 litres of milk as an average daily. Large amounts of milk can be produced as now there are different technologies and they are breed in a certain way. The production varies from age and breed of the cow. Nowadays, machines are used to extract milk rather than using hands
Most of the cows have their first calf when they are below or two years old. Sometimes twins can also be born. Cows can birth at least 10 calves in their whole life.
Cows can live for 20 years or more. But the older cows are used for their meat when their milking skills start declining. There are different types of meat that are consumed. The meat from adults is known as beef and the meat from calves is known as veal. The cattles for meat are bred in a different way. They are bred to produce muscle rather than for milk. They are more heftier than dairy cows. Beef cattle are very different from dairy cattle. The growth rate, fat content, disease resistance, everything is different. Some people also consume their different organs other than the muscle meat like liver, kidney, heart etc. They are farmed in a different system which is less intensive where dairy cows are farmed.
Dairy cattle breeds
Some of the most common dairy cattle breeds found all over the world are-
1. Ayrshire cow
2. Brown Swiss cow
3. Guernsey cow
4. Holstein-Friesian cow
5. Jersey cow
6. Milking Shorthorn cow
7. Red Poll cow
Beef cattle breeds
Some of the most common beef cattle breed found all over the world are-
1. Angus Bull
2. Beefmaster Bull
3.Belgian Blue Bull
4. Belted Galloway cattle.
5. Brahman Bull.
6. Brangus Bull
7. Charolais Bull
8. Chianina Bull
9. Hereford Bull
10. Limousin Bull
Cow’s milk is very beneficial for human bodies. One pint of milk consists of 90% calcium. It is one of the most used milk all over the world. Milk provides vitamins, minerals and is also a source of potassium, B12, vitamin A, magnesium, zinc and thiamine (B1). It is a good source of protein. The nutritional factor of milk varies due to how cows are bred. The fat percentage also varies. Drinking milk also helps in having strong and healthy bones.
Beef is known as red meat and is known for its higher amount of iron than chicken and fish. It can be eaten as roasts, ribs or steaks. It has various amounts of vitamins and minerals. But it is not consumed everywhere. As some religions worship cows they prohibit eating beef.
Cows can be found anywhere and are very useful for humans. They also play a major part in the food cycle.