You probably know all about the cows, sheep and goats that live on farms. But did you know that there are wild cows, sheep and goats living throughout the world? All members of the cattle family have cloven feet, meaning the hooves are separated into two toes.
These furry mammals are valued for their milk, meat, fur and ability to carry things. In Africa, cattle are especially valued. Here, people sometimes drain a little blood from a cow for food, but only butcher cows on special occasions.
Fun Facts about the Cattle Family for Kids
- The cattle family includes yaks, water buffalo, oxen, bison, goats and sheep.
- European bison and American bison were hunted almost to extinction. A few herds remain.
- Cow manure, or dung, is sometimes dried and burned for heat in places where there is no firewood.
- Manure fertilizes the soil so grass and other plants grow.
- Cows eat grass, which is hard to digest. They have four stomachs to do the job.
Cattle Family Vocabulary
- Cloven: two parts
- Mammal: a warm-blooded animal with fur
- Extinction: gone from the earth
- Dung: poop
- Digest: use up, process
Learn More All About the Cattle Family
Watch this video about water buffaloes fighting:
A video of water buffaloes clashing into each other.
Cattle Family Q&A
Question: What does “chewing the cud” mean?
Answer: Cows chew grass and swallow it. Later, they spit it up and chew it again.
Question: Are horses members of the cattle family?
Answer: No, horses do not have cloven feet.
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