Farm Animal Facts

  • Cattle are descended from a creature called the wild auroch, which was tamed 9,000 years ago. There are now over 200 breeds of domestic cow.
  • Female cows reared for milk, butter and cheese production are called dairy cows. They give birth to a calf each year, and after it is born they provide milk twice a day.
  • A typical dairy cow gives 16 lis of milk a day, or almost 6,000 lis a year.
  • Male cattle are reared mainly for their meat, called beef. Beef breeds are usually heftier than dairy ones.
  • Female cattle are called cows, and males are called bulls. The young are calves. Female calves are also called heifers.
  • Domesticated over 4,000 years ago and at first used for religious sacrifices, the chicken now is probably the most numerous bird in the world.
  • Sheep were first domesticated over 10,000 years ago. There are now more than 700 million sheep in the world, and around 800 different breeds.
  • Hairy sheep are kept for their milk and meat (lamb and mutton). Woolly sheep are kept for their wool.
  • Hens lay one or two eggs a day — about 350 a year.
  • To keep hens laying, their eggs must be taken from them every day. Otherwise the hens will try to nest so they can hatch them.
  • Turkeys may have got their name from the mistaken belief that they came from Turkey.
  • When a cow chews the cud, the cud is food regurgitated from one of its four stomachs.