An ox is a cool animal known mostly for being used to pull people’s wagons and carts. Oxen, cows, and bulls are all bovines (meaning they’re in the cow family). However, there are some important differences between these animals:
1) An ox is an adult bull or cow that has been castrated. This means that farmers choose to remove their reproductive organs so that they will be easier to control. It also makes them more docile than uncastrated cattle, meaning they’re less likely to fight with other bulls and cause trouble on farms. Male cattle that haven’t been castrated are called bulls.
2) Female cattle that have never had babies are called heifers; female cattle that have had babies are called cows. Bulls mate with cows, but steers (castrated males) will never mate.
3) Cattle are raised for their meat, milk, and hides; in some places, they’re also used as draft animals (animals that pull things like plows). Oxen are raised mainly for their strength and to work on farms. Bulls can be raised for breeding stock or for their strength; in some countries, they’re eaten too.
Cows come in all shapes and sizes. Their coats can be black, brown, white, grey, and even spotted! They have thick fur to protect them from the cold weather of wintertime. Cows usually live until they are 20 years. Bulls have short fur that is mostly black, often with white spots. They have big humps on their backs and massive horns! Bulls are usually slightly larger than cows, but not always.
4) An ox is meatier than a bull but skinnier than a cow. That makes it the middle-sized animal of the three.
5) Oxen are trained to pull carts or plows. A single ox can be harnessed to work in tandem with another animal (like a horse). This means they can pull twice as much weight! But because they’re castrated, they won’t try to mate with anything they encounter out in fields while working either.
6) Cows are milked for their milk by machines called milking machines. Farmers milk their cows by hand too, but it can be dangerous. Cows can kick and stomp, and if they accidentally hit a farmer with those hooves… ouch!
7) Bulls are good at smelling things from far away. If you keep one as a pet (not recommended), don’t worry: they won’t try to find you! They’ll probably just hang out in their pen all day.
Bulls can also be aggressive; many people choose to castrate those bulls that show signs of aggressiveness early on at the farm where they’re born so that fewer accidents happen later on when they grow up into adults.
8) Oxen live for ten years or more; steers will only live for five years, and bulls only three years. Cows will usually live for 20 years or more, depending on their breed.
9) Oxen are a little smaller than cows but larger than steers. Bulls weigh about the same as cows, give or take a few hundred pounds!