Cows are members of the family Bovidae. They are commonly raised as livestock for milk production for dairy products, for meat and to carry or pull heavy loads. Cows are also often killed for their skin, which is used to make leather. Some well-known hybrid breeds of cow include bantengs (wild oxen), yaks and bison. The Bos Primigenius, or auroch, is a subspecies of cow that became extinct in 1627 as a result of illegal hunting. Some religious groups like Hindus worship and revere cows.
Knowledge of cow-related vocabulary is helpful to the comprehension of the process of cow mating. "Cow" is used to refer to a female that has had one or two babies. A baby cow is called a calf. A female that has never had a calf is a heifer. A bull is a term used to refer to a non-castrated, male bovine. A castrated male is known as a steer; steers are unable to reproduce and are usually raised for beef.
Ovulation in cows occurs approximately every 21 days. The female genital tract consists of the vulva, cervix, uterus, ovaries and oviduct. This tract is located within the pelvic cavity of the cow. When a cow is in estrus, or ready to mate, she signals to the male by standing to be mounted. The male mounts the cow and extends his penis into the vagina of the cow.
Development and Birth
The gestation period of cows is the same as humans: 9 months. The birthing process is known as calving and lasts approximately 3 to 72 hours. A newborn calf takes approximately 10 seconds to breathe on its own.