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From time immemorial, bulls and cows were considered the most profitable animals in the home. They were among the first to be tamed by humans, and at the moment they are the main suppliers of meat, milk and various auxiliary products. Bulls can be found in almost all climatic regions of the planet: from the highlands of Tibet to the hot African savannahs. The types of bulls are quite diverse. Fortunately, on earth, you can still find various types of bulls in the wild, which are also used for breeding work with cattle.
Types of wild bulls
The bull is a powerful animal, with all its appearance embodying the strength and power of the wild. Unfortunately, the wild forest bull, or tour, the main progenitor of most European domestic cows, has not survived in its original state to the present day. It was finally destroyed, not without human help, back in the 17th century. But, fortunately, many other species of wild bulls, which were also on the verge of destruction, were rescued and are now protected by conservationists. With their help, domestic breeds of gobies were once bred, which are now widely used by humans.
This is a very rare species of wild bull that lives in the countries of Southeast Asia. Biologically, he is closest to a gauru. The species was domesticated several centuries ago, after which it came to Australia, where it became a little wild and formed another population there.
Bulls have a very neat appearance due to their short and smooth coat. Males very easily differ from females, not only in size, but also in color. In males it is very dark, almost black, in females it is light brown or reddish.
These bulls live for about 25 years, readily breed in captivity.
This species of wild bull lives on the North American continent. He is considered one of the largest beasts in America. Indeed, the height of the bison reaches 2 m, and even 2.5-3 m in length. The weight of an American bull can be equal to 1.5 tons, females usually weigh much less - 700-800 kg.
Attention! Once upon a time, bison were full-fledged owners on the American mainland, since they did not have pronounced natural enemies. Even the wolves couldn't handle them.
But with the arrival of the European colonizers, animals began to be exterminated, both just for fun, and in order to deprive the indigenous people of food - the Indians.
Bison are distinguished by a particularly massive front part of the body, with thick and long hair (up to 50 cm long), often knocked to shreds. The back of the body is much weaker and smaller. They have a low-set head with a wide forehead and short horns, the ends of which are bent inward.
The tail is short with a tassel at the very end.
The coat color of American bulls can be brown, gray or black. While young calves are light straw color.
Bison live in different natural zones, mainly in reserves. Hence, two of their main subspecies are distinguished:
- Steppe - preferring spacious pastures and plains, well lit by the sun.
- Forest - settle in forests in the north of the continent, mainly in Canada.
They can roam in herds in search of denser vegetation. In winter they dig out their food under the snow. The herd is divided into bulls and cows with calves. It is dominated by a bull of the oldest age.
Bison are not particularly aggressive. And in case of danger, they prefer to flee when they are able to reach speeds of up to 50 km / h. Animals swim well, they have an excellent sense of smell and hearing, but they see very badly.
These wild bulls, which live predominantly in the southern latitudes, can still be found in nature, although their numbers also continue to decline.
There are two main types: Asian and African buffalo.
African ones are larger in size, with black or dark brown, hard, sparse wool. They reach a height of 1.5-1.6 m, weigh about a ton. They live, as a rule, in the savannas near water sources. They have a strong herd instinct, since they have to defend themselves against natural enemies: lions and crocodiles.
Indian buffaloes also have many subspecies: from giants, under 2 m in height, to the smallest wild bulls - anoa. The latter are only 80 cm high and weigh about 300 kg. Despite the fact that they are listed in the Red Book and protected by law, poachers continue to shoot them, since the anoa skin is very popular with tourists in Asian countries.
The number of Asian giant bulls in the wild is also decreasing due to the destruction of their habitat by humans.
Many of them have been successfully domesticated and even used for interbreeding with domestic bulls, due to their calm disposition, unpretentiousness and good performance.
This species of bull is considered to be the largest, still preserved in the wild. Indeed, the scale of his body is staggering: bulls grow up to 3 m in height, and in weight they reach 1600 kg or more. Sometimes they are even called Indian bison.
Despite such an impressive size, animals are distinguished by a calm and peaceful disposition. They are characterized by fearlessness, since even tigers are afraid to attack their herds.
Bulls are dark brown in color with short and shiny hair. Large up to 90 cm in length, but neat horns are located almost strictly vertically and have the shape of a crescent.
The largest number of them remains in India (up to 30 thousand). In this country, even a domesticated species of gaura - gayal was bred. They are smaller and are actively used on the farm.
If all the previously described species were related to the wild tur, then the zebu is absolutely not related to it. This is an independent species of wild bull, also distributed mainly in India.
Animals are distinguished by the presence of a muscle-fat hump and skin secretions with a special aroma, thanks to which it is relatively safe from blood-sucking insects. They perfectly tolerate the highest air temperatures.
In India, these bulls are often tamed and even interbred with domestic animals, resulting in greater milk production, strength and endurance.
At the withers, zebu grow up to 1.5 m, the mass of adult bulls is 800 kg.
Bison are a species of American bison, their closest relatives in Europe.
Attention! These species easily interbreed with each other, and in many countries their offspring are used for household needs.
They differ in smaller size and a head more clearly separated from the body. In Europe, they are currently the largest mammals. The bison also faced a difficult fate, they were almost completely exterminated, and the Caucasian subspecies managed to disappear from the face of the earth, until people woke up. At the moment, these European bulls are listed in the Red Book and are carefully protected.
Bison have a dark brown coat with a slight hump. In length, the body can reach almost 3 m, in height - 1.7-2 m. There is a pronounced mane. Life expectancy is 30-40 years. Bison swim well and overcome obstacles.
There are bulls that feel very comfortable in the harshest conditions of mountainous Tibet. This type of bull is distinguished by the enormous size of the body (height up to 2 m, length up to 4 m) and horns. The wool of yaks is also very long and tangled, reliably protects them from frost and winds. Its color can be very different.
The yak was domesticated by the people of Tibet more than a thousand years ago. Pets have a much calmer disposition. But it is better not to meet a wild yak. They are distinguished by immense strength and ferocity. But they themselves avoid human society and live only in uninhabited regions. Therefore, the nature and habits of wild yaks have been little studied.
Domestic bull breeds
It is interesting that while wild bull species are, on average, fairly easy to tame, domestic animals without a person also run wild relatively quickly. To date, there are about 1000 known cattle breeds, of which 300 are popular all over the world. Most often, they are classified according to the method of economic use and are subdivided into: dairy, meat and universal meat and dairy breeds. Below are some of the most popular bull breeds with photos.
This breed is purely dairy. It was bred in Scotland in the 17th and 18th century. The color is most often red-white, sometimes brown-white, but with a predominance of light shades. The coat is smooth, the horns are curled.
Cows weigh on average 450-550 kg (up to 700), and reach 130 cm at the withers. The average weight of bulls is 600-800 (up to 1000), height is up to 140-150 cm. They ripen quite early and are able to inseminate early. They give about 5500-6000 kg of milk, with a fat content of up to 3.9%. The advantage of the Ayrshire people is the economical use of feed. They adapt well to keeping in cold climates, worse - to arid climates.
This breed of purely meat direction was bred in England in the 18th century. It is one of the most widespread in the world and is used to improve the meat characteristics of other breeds. The animals are very hardy and easily adapt to any climate conditions. It has a very high productivity - up to 65% of quality meat.
The color is reddish, on the head there are white spots. Cows easily gain up to 600 kg in weight or more, bulls - sometimes more than 1 ton.
The skins of these animals are also held in high esteem. Luxurious leather goods are made from it.
But their milk productivity is very low. Often calves have to be fed literally from the first month of life.
This dairy breed is bred only on the territory of Russia, it has been known only since the beginning of the 20th century. Despite the fact that initially the breed was bred rather as universal for its intended purpose, it shows very good results in terms of milk productivity - 5-6 thousand kg, 3.7-3.9% milk per year.
The color can be varied, but fawn and gray shades predominate. The weight of cows is 550-700 kg, bulls - 800-1000 kg.
The breed quickly gained popularity due to its amazing stamina, unpretentious feeding and a long period of productivity. Their early maturity and a high percentage of newborns' survival at calving are also noted. Cows are able to easily tolerate a change in diet without losing their productivity.
Animals of this breed are especially popular because they belong to the universal type. They have a very good milk yield - they give up to 4500 kg of 4.1-4.2% milk a year. At the same time, they are distinguished by a strong constitution and large weight. Bulls can easily reach 1000-1200 kg and cows 600-800 kg.
In addition, animals are docile, physically hardy and rather unpretentious in feeding.
This is one of the oldest dairy breeds in Russia, bred back in the time of Peter the Great from crossing a black and white breed with local northern cattle. The weight of cows ranges from 500 to 600 kg, bulls weigh about 900 kg. Productivity is about 4-5 thousand kg of milk per year.
Attention! The breed is still in demand, since it is completely unpretentious to the conditions of keeping, especially in the northern regions. The animals are hardy and disease-resistant and can effectively use all the resources of the pasture.
A breed of cows and bulls of local origin. They are bred mainly in Russia and Ukraine. The color is black with a white head. Weight - average, cows - about 500 kg, bulls - 600-700 kg. Milk yield with proper feeding can amount to 5-6 thousand kg of milk (4%) per year.
The animals are well adapted to temperate climates. Unpretentious and resistant to disease.
The species of bulls in the wild are still pleasing with their diversity. They play an important role in maintaining natural balance, in addition, they can serve as additional material for human breeding work.