Types of Cows

Published on: Feb 28 2011 by Shenron

There are more than 800 different species of cows known all over the world and out of these 800 breeds there only 4 which are popular and characterized by their purposes and uses. Following are given these four popular types with their brief description.

Beef Cattle

As the name suggests, beef cattle are the types of cows reared mainly for the production of meat. However, there are many other purposes behind rearing the beef cattle such as for leatherwork, cosmetics and toiletries.

Beef cattle are commonly found all over the world, stretching from Japan to Australia. Some breeds are also found in Africa and Mexico. The breeds of the beef cattle are classified into two broad categories, i.e. taurine and the zebu cattle. Taurine cattle grow well in the colder climatic conditions whereas the zebu cattle are found in the tropical regions of the Africa and South America.

In America, the number of cattle farms is decreasing quickly because the family owned farms are not well supported by the economy. Nowadays, large corporate ranches or farms and slaughterhouses are now accountable for the production and distribution of beef.

Dairy Cows

Dairy cows, as the name suggest, are reared or reproduced for their ability of producing large amount of milk. This milk is then processed and utilized to produce certain dairy products such as homogenized milk, butter, yogurt and cheese. In America alone, six different breeds of the dairy cows of the species Bos Taurus are found. The six breeds are Guernsey, Holstein-Friesian, Brown Swiss, Ayrshire, Jersey, and Milking Shorthorn. Though, other breeds of dairy cows are found in different parts of the world.

Previously, there are not many distinctions between the beef cattle and dairy cows, but today farmers specialize in dairy or meat production to enhance the production in their own fields. America has already seen a considerable increase in dairy production in recent few years.

Draught Cattle

These are types of cows which have powerful muscles and normally used for carrying out work in the fields such as plowing and preparing the soil for sowing. Draughts cattle have a strong physique along with strong muscles which enable them to pull heavy loads or carts and also work for extended period of times. Horse is also a type of draught animal but it doesn’t come under the category of cattle. Unlike horses, which are fast and more excitable, cattle are much slower and also less excitable than horses. Still, the cattle are the most apt for plowing fields or pulling heavy loads for shorter distances as they take too much time to reach from one place to another.

There are many countries where cattle are used for transportation purposes; however, with the invention of yoke, cattle are now used in several different ways such as farmers and ranchers harnessed them and use for breaking sod and haul freight.

Dual-purpose Cattle

We have noticed that the types of cows mentioned above are usually used for single purpose at a time. Now we are going to discuss the type which is known as dual-purpose cattle. Dual-purpose cattle are the cattle which can be used for more than one purpose, i.e. their use is not limited to meat or diary production. These cattle are multi-purpose cattle which can be bred for meat and milk at a time or even for draught purpose. In few cases, these cattle are even reared for show.

These are some of the different types of cows categorized on the basis of their purpose of breeding and different uses. Each and every type of cow has its own characteristic features which make them essential part of our lives as their milk and meat provide us the necessary nutrients and also assist the farmers in the fields to carry out different tasks.

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