Global stocks of cows were estimated at nearly one billion animals in 2016, with India, Brazil, and China having the largest populations (together maintaining approximately one-third of all cows).), a wild species of cattle that once ranged across Eurasia.The wild aurochs became extinct in the early 1600s, the result of overhunting and loss of habitat due to the spread of agriculture (and domestic herds).
Some breeds are genetically polled (hornless), and many other cows may be dehorned (that is, have their horn buds destroyed) at young age to make them easier to transport and safer to work around.
Cows are renowned for their large milk-producing (mammary) glands known as udders, which possess four teats (nipples).
English lacks a gender-neutral singular form, and so “cow” is used for both female individuals and all domestic bovines. The order contains even-toed hoofed mammals, and cows have distinctive cloven hooves (derived from the toenails from the middle two digits of each foot).
Cows belong to the family Bovidae (hollow-horned ruminants, which also includes antelope, sheep, and goats), subfamily Bovinae (which includes buffaloes and spiral-horned antelope), tribe Bovini (which includes cattle, bison, and yak), and genus The size and weight of a cow is highly dependent on the breed.
Since only females produce milk, they are far more common in the dairy industry.
Dairy bulls are often large, powerful, and aggressive and are more challenging to keep.Milk from cows is a significant part of many food items; in addition to its direct consumption as a beverage, it is used to make a wide range of products including butter, yogurt, cheese, and ice cream.Dairy cows produce milk for around 10 months following the birth of the calf.Mature males weigh 450–1,800 kg (1,000–4,000 pounds) and females weigh 360–1,100 kg (800–2,400 pounds).Both males and females have horns, and although these may be short in many breeds, they can grow to be spectacularly large, such as in Texas longhorns and African Ankole-Watusi cows.Cows usually have their first calf when they are just under two years old—with single calves being typical, although twins sometimes occur—and each cow may have ten or more calves over the course of her life.Even though cows can live for 20 years or more, older dairy cows are often culled from commercial herds and used for meat when their milk yield begins to decline.beef; meat from calves (typically slaughtered at three months of age) is known as veal.As a result, most breeding in modern dairy operations occurs through artificial insemination, with bulls living at just a few specialized facilities.Different breeds of dairy cows have been bred for specific milk characteristics, such as to maximize yield or to produce a desired level of fat in the milk.Today, there are two broadly recognized forms of cow: the Cows were first domesticated as “all-purpose” animals, used as draft animals and also for their milk and meat products.Regional specializations led to the formation of a range of varieties, or breeds, that were adapted to different climates or that were selectively bred to emphasize valuable characteristics, such as milk or meat production.