Although cattle are often collectively referred to as cows, the word cow specifically refers to females of the cattle species that have given birth to at least one calf. Young female cattle that have not yet given birth to a calf are referred to as heifers.
The word calf is used to refer to young cattle of both sexes until the point at which they are weaned. After weaning, they are known as yearlings until they reach the age of 2. At that point, the females become known as heifers until they give birth and become known as cows. Male cattle ages 2 and older are known as bulls. If a male is castrated, it is called a steer.Learn More
A heifer is a mature female cow that has not calved, or given birth to a calf, yet. As soon as a heifer gives birth, she becomes a cow. A cow refers to a female of any age that has given birth.Full Answer >
Both cows and bulls of many cattle breeds have horns, including Ayrshires, Jerseys and Herefords. The shapes and lengths of cows' horns vary by breed.Full Answer >
Adult size for cows can vary significantly due to breed and sex, although large breeds can weigh 1,400 pounds or more. Smaller breeds weigh between 600 and 1,000 pounds. Bulls can grow over 3,000 pounds in rare occasions.Full Answer >
Cows thrive best in temperate climates and open grasslands. They are descended from wild animals that once roamed North Africa, Europe, and South Asia, and they are adapted to life in regions with a similar climate. Some breeds, such as Highland cattle, are bred for colder temperatures, but cows tend to prefer warmer climates.Full Answer >