Cattle are the most common in our daily life and they have the closest relationship with human life. They are mainly raised as livestock for meat, milk and farming.
1. It's all cattle
Cattle can be roughly divided into dairy cattle, beef cattle, and draft cattle.
Many dairy breeds in China are imported from abroad, some of which are hybrids between imported and local cattle. For example, Chinese Holstein dairy cows, which are common in China, are a hybrid of Holstein cattle from abroad and Chinese yellow cattle.
As the main beef cattle in China, Chinese yellow cows mature early, gain weight quickly, and have a high bone and flesh ratio. China's top five yellow cattle include Qinchuan cattle originally from northwest China's Shaanxi Province, Nanyang cattle from central China's Nanyang Basin, Luxi cattle from east China's Shandong Province, Jinnan cattle from north China's Jinnan Basin, and Yanbian cattle from the eastern part of the three northeastern provinces.
Usually, beef cattle also work as draft cattle. With the improvement of agricultural mechanization, more draft cattle started being raised as beef cattle.
2. The auroch ancestry
The auroch or urus, which is an extinct species of large wild cattle that inhabited Asia, Europe, and North Africa, is the ancestor of the cattle.
The aurochs once spread all over Eurasia, but they were ruthlessly hunted by people. The species survived in Europe until 1627, when the last recorded aurochs died in the Jaktorów Forest, Poland.
3. Ruminant animals
Cattle feed on grass, stems, and other herbs. A cow can consume about 70 kilograms of grass in eight hours. They are ruminants with a special digestive systems able to break down and consume indigestible food.
Rumination consists of feed coming back to the mouth after soaking and softening in the rumen. After chewing again and swallowing it with saliva into the rumen, a large amount of forage can be softened and quickly passed through the rumen to the digestive tract, which allows cattle to feed on more food.
Happy 'Niu' Year
February 12 marks the beginning of the Year of the Ox. "Niu" means "ox" in Chinese, but it can also mean "very impressive." In Chinese, the character "niu" is also a part of names of animals other than ox. In this series, CGTN shares interesting facts about animals with "niu" in their names.
(Cover image and infographic designed by CGTN's Li Jingjie)
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