Life Cycle

A young cow is called a calf ©Getty

A young cow is called a calf ©Getty

Male cattle are called bulls, females are cows. A young one is a calf, and when there are more than one they are called calves.

A bull and a calf mate, and then a baby grows inside the cow.  After about 9 months the calf is born.  

The calf drinks milk from its mother's udders until it is old enough to eat grass.

How do cattle digest their food?

Cattle are herbivores, and they have a special digestive system because of that. They have four stomachs because plants are hard to digest. 

When there are many cows together, they are called cattle.  A large group of cattle is called a herd of cattle. There are about 800 different kinds, or breeds,  of cattle.  

This is a herd of long-horned cattle. Some breeds of cattle have large horns, others do not. ©iStock Images

This is a herd of long-horned cattle. Some breeds of cattle have large horns, others do not. ©iStock Images

Some kinds are farmed because they produce lots of milk and others because they are good for meat.

Cattle farmed for milk are dairy cattle, and those farmed for milk are dairy cattle.

Dairy cattle

On dairy farms cows are milked by machines ©iStock

On dairy farms cows are milked by machines ©iStock

Some cattle farms are called dairy farms. They produce milk.  They keep the kinds of cows that give a lot of milk.

Long ago, cows were milked by hand. ©Getty Images

Long ago, cows were milked by hand. ©Getty Images

A cow makes milk inside a part of her body called udders. Cows are milked twice a day, always at the same time in the morning and afternoon.  Most dairy cows make about 25 litres of milk every day.

 On a farm, machines pump the milk out of the cows' udders.  The machine milks a lot of cows at the same time.

The milk is cooled and taken in big tankers to a factory. In the factory, the milk is heated to kill germs and put into bottles or cartons and taken to shops so we can buy it.

Milk, cheeses, yoghurt and butter. ©Getty Images

Milk, cheeses, yoghurt and butter. ©Getty Images

Cow's milk has a watery part and a thicker part called cream. Sometimes the cream is mixed through the milk before it is bottled or put in a carton. Sometimes the cream is taken out and put into bottles and taken to shops to be sold separately. Milk without cream is called skim milk. It is put into bottles and cartons and taken to shops.

Some milk is made into cheese. Some milk is made into yoghurt.

Cream is made into butter. The cream is shaken until it turns into butter.                           

Beef cattle are raised for meat ©iStock

Beef cattle are raised for meat ©iStock

Beef cattle

Some farms grow cattle for meat. Different kinds of cattle are raise to give us meat. The meat is called beef. 

The cattle are sold and killed, and the meat is sold to butchers to be put in their shops to sell.

Read more

Read kidcyber pages about other kinds of farms: