Cattle, Cows, Oxen & Bulls
Cows, cattle are a common type of bovine, large domesticated animals. There exists approximately 1.4 billion cattle in the world.Cattle are valuable to human civilization as livestock for meat and dairy foods. Hides of cattle are traditionally used to make clothing, shoes, handbags and furniture leather, although synthetic leather is gaining popularity. Cow manuer is also utilized as a source of fertilizer and fuel.
Cattle bred for labor include oxen to assist farmers by pulling carts, wagons and field plows and other farm implements.
The word cattle originally meant movable personal property as cattle were considered free-roaming economic property of the land as chattel which means a unit of personal property. Wild cattle refers to feral cattle or undomesticated species of the bovre considered to be one of the oldest forms of wealth. Cattle rustling or raiding is the oldest form of theft.
Generally the modern meaning of the term cattle relates to the domesticated variety.
Cattle have cloven hooves and most breeds have horns, which range in size from the wide-spread Texas Longhorn to the small bump of a scur, which is incompletely developed horn growth. Some genetic selection has resulted in hornless cattle (polled) becoming popular choices over the horned species.
Cattle have one stomach with four compartments
The rumen is the largest stomach compartment. Contrary to mythology, cattle sleep lying down and not standing up. Cow-tipping is an urban legend with no basis in fact.
Some cultures revere the cow as sacred and a protected species. Cattle, chickens and other domesticated animals provide rich heritage and cultural signifigance in folk art. In heraldry, male cattle, or bulls, are typically represented on shields and family crests.