What is the estimated global population of cattle as of 2018?
What is the name of the species to which cattle belong?
What is the main source of greenhouse gas emissions from livestock?
What is the average sleep time of a domestic cow?
Which sense is dominant in cattle?
What is the name of the veterinary discipline dealing with cattle and cattle diseases?
What is the name of the cattle disease that is common in dairy cattle?
Which breed of cattle is known for its heavy weight, with the heaviest bull on record being of this breed?
What is the name of the controversial suggestion to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by completely stopping cattle farming?
Cattle: Large, Domesticated, and Widely Used Herbivores
- Cattle are large, domesticated, cloven-hooved herbivores used for meat (beef or veal), milk (dairy), hides, riding, and draft work.
- Different types of cattle are found in different geographic areas, including taurine cattle in Europe and temperate Asia, zebus in India and tropical areas, and Sanga cattle in sub-Saharan Africa.
- There are over 1,000 recognized breeds of cattle, which were domesticated from wild aurochs progenitors approximately 10,500 years ago.
- The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates there are approximately 1.5 billion cattle in the world as of 2018.
- Cattle are responsible for around 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, making them the main source of emissions from livestock.
- Cattle have been fully mapped genetically, making them one of the first livestock animals to have their genome fully mapped.
- Cattle were originally classified as three separate species, but are now classified as one species, Bos taurus, with subspecies including aurochs, zebu, and taurine cattle.
- Cattle can interbreed with other closely related species, creating hybrids such as beefalo and sanga cattle.
- The aurochs, ancestral to both zebu and taurine cattle, became extinct in 1627.
- Cattle have a specialized digestive system that allows them to consume difficult-to-digest plants as food, and they are known for regurgitating and re-chewing their food.
- Cattle reproduction is often assisted through artificial insemination, and a cow's udder contains two pairs of mammary glands.
- The gestation period for a cow is approximately nine months, and adult size and weight vary significantly among breeds and sexes.Cattle: Their Size, Senses, Cognition, and Behavior
- Dexter and Jersey adults weigh between 300-500 kg, while Charolais, Marchigiana, Belgian Blue, and Chianina adults weigh 640-1,100 kg.
- British breeds, such as Hereford, Angus, and Shorthorn, mature at 500-900 kg, occasionally higher.
- The heaviest bull on record was a Chianina named Donetto, weighing 1,740 kg, while the heaviest steer was an eight-year-old Shorthorn/Hereford cross weighing 2,140 kg in 1910.
- Young cattle can memorize the locations of several food sources and retain this memory for at least 8 hours, while mature cattle have a good long-term memory.
- Cattle can discriminate between familiar individuals, both conspecifics and humans, and can recognize familiar individuals through visual and olfactory cues.
- They use visual/brain lateralisation to scan for novel and familiar stimuli, and prefer to view novel stimuli with the left eye.
- Cattle can recognize conspecific individuals using olfaction only.
- Vision is the dominant sense in cattle, and they obtain almost 50% of their information visually.
- Cattle have a well-developed sense of taste and can distinguish the four primary tastes.
- Their hearing ranges from 23 Hz to 35 kHz, and they have a broad foveal field of view covering almost the entire horizon.
- Cattle have a range of odiferous glands over their body, indicating that olfaction probably plays a large role in their social life.
- They have tactile sensations detected mainly by mechanoreceptors, thermoreceptors, and nociceptors in the skin and muscles.
Calves stay with their mother until weaning at 8 to 11 months and are considered to be "hider" type animals.
Cattle use agonistic (non-aggressive, competitive) behaviors that involve no physical contact to settle disputes and maintain dominance relationships.
The horns of cattle are "honest signals" used in mate selection, and horned cattle attempt to keep greater distances between themselves and have fewer physical interactions than hornless cattle.
When grazing, cattle vary several aspects of their bite depending on characteristics of the plant they are eating, and they avoid grazing areas contaminated by the faeces of other cattle.Summary Title: Facts and Figures About Cattle
Cattle avoid areas contaminated by sheep but do not avoid pasture contaminated by rabbit faeces.
Cattle temperament can affect production traits such as carcass and meat quality or milk yield as well as affecting the animal's overall health and reproduction.
Negative emotional states are associated with a bias toward negative responses towards ambiguous cues in judgement tasks.
Cattle are very gregarious and even short-term isolation is considered to cause severe psychological stress.
The average sleep time of a domestic cow is about 4 hours a day.
Cattle have about 22,000 genes, and 80% of their genes are shared with humans.
Cattle were first domesticated from wild aurochs approximately 10,500 years ago.
Approximately 300 million cattle, including dairy cattle, are slaughtered each year for food.
India had the largest cattle population in the world in 2021 followed by Brazil and China.
Dairy cattle are usually kept on specialized dairy farms designed for milk production.
Hides are most commonly used for leather, which can be made into a variety of products, including shoes.
Oxen are cattle trained as draft animals, used for plowing, transport, hauling cargo, grain-grinding, and wagon drawing.The Environmental Impact, Health, Public Health, Animal Welfare Concerns, and Industry of Cattle Farming
- Cattle belch out methane, a greenhouse gas with a 72x higher global warming potential than carbon dioxide.
- The livestock sector is responsible for 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions, and 65% of that is due to cattle.
- Cattle and other livestock emit 80 to 93 Megatonnes of methane per year, accounting for 37% of anthropogenic methane emissions.
- A controversial suggestion to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to stop farming cattle completely.
- Manure is a valuable source of nutrients and organic matter when used as a fertilizer but can lead to adverse environmental consequences if not well-managed.
- The veterinary discipline dealing with cattle and cattle diseases is called buiatrics.
- Digital dermatitis and ringworm are common in cattle.
- Cattle diseases are a public health issue and affect the daily work of farmers who keep cattle.
- Internal food safety regulations affect a country's trade policy.
Animal Welfare Concerns:
- Animal rights activists criticize common practices in cattle husbandry, slaughter, and entertainment, claiming that they cause fear, stress, and pain.
- The treatment of dairy cows faces additional criticism.
- The treatment of dairy cows faces additional criticism.
- The leather industry in India and Bangladesh often makes cows walk long distances across borders to be killed in neighboring provinces and countries where cattle slaughter is legal.
- Rodeos, the Running of the bulls, and bullfighting are opposed due to the stress and injuries incurred by the animals during the events.
- Veneration of the cow has become a symbol of the identity of Hindus as a community.
Test your knowledge about cattle with our informative quiz! Discover interesting facts and figures, including their history, genetic makeup, behavior, and environmental impact. Learn about their size, senses, cognition, and behavior, and understand the health and animal welfare concerns surrounding cattle farming. Whether you are a cattle farmer, an animal lover, or simply curious about these magnificent creatures, this quiz will provide you with a wealth of knowledge. So, grab a pen and paper and let's get started!
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