Cattle have been raised for years because of their vast utility. It is primarily bred for its meat, called beef or veal, and its milk, used in the production of several dairy products like butter, cheese, and yogurt. Besides this, their hide is a crucial component to make leather, while their dung serves as a natural fertilizer, also used for producing fuel.

Cattle Images


The colloquially popular term cow refers to just the female cattle in taxonomy, while the male cattle  are called bulls. However, in daily verbiage, all cattle species are mostly classified under the umbrella term cow.

Different Types of Cattle Breeds

There are around 1.5 billion cattle according to population counts in 2020.  250 breeds of cattle are recognized globally, with about 80 of the, easily available to farmers in the US.

Types of Cattle Breeds

For Dairy

  • Ayrshire Cattle
  • Jersey Cattle
  • Holstein Friesian
  • Ankole-Watusi
  • Guernsey Cattle
  • Ongole Cattle
  • Braunvieh Cattle
  • Lakenvelder Cattle
  • Montbéliarde Cattle
  • Dairy Shorthorn Cattle
  • Tarentaise Cattle
  • Boškarin Cattle
  • Rathi Cattle
  • French Brown Cattle

For Meat

  • Black Angus Cattle
  • Red Angus Cattle
  • Highland Cattle
  • Belted Galloway Cattle
  • Scottish Highland Cattle
  • Charolais Cattle
  • Brahman Cattle
  • Dexter
  • Hereford Cattle
  • Limousin Cattle
  • Piedmontese
  • Hungarian Grey
  • Vaynol Cattle
  • Texas Longhorn Cattle
  • Brangus
  • Aberdeen Angus
  • Galloway Cattle
  • Braford Cattle
  • Chianina Cattle
  • Cachena Cattle
  • Boran Cattle
  • Senepol Cattle
  • British White Cattle
  • Podolica Cattle
  • Retinta Cattle
  • Hungarian Steppe Cattle
  • Red Poll Cattle
  • White Park Cattle
  • Beef Shorthorn Cattle
  • Australian Lowline Cattle
  • Parthenaise Cattle
  • Longhorn Cattle
  • Corriente Cattle
  • Marchigiana Cattle

For Dairy and Meat

  • Maine-Anjou Cattle
  • South Devon Cattle
  • Irish Moiled Cattle
  • Gelbvieh Cattle
  • White Park Cattle
  • Shorthorn Cattle
  • Simmental Cattle
  • Watusi Cattle
  • Brown Swiss Cattle
  • Belgian Blue Cattle
  • Aubrac Cattle
  • Japanese Black Cattle
  • Nguni Cattle
  • Pustertaler Sprinzen Cattle
  • Afrikaner Cattle

As Draught Animals

  • Malvi Cattle
  • Zebu
  • Nagori
  • Horro Cattle
  • Red Kandhari Cattle
  • Hallikar Cattle

History and Development

Cow Teeth

Cattle Pictures

The domestication of the cow started around 8000-10,000 years ago from wild aurochs, which were huge ox-like animals, equaling the size of an elephant, thriving about 10,500 years ago. Aurochs themselves became extinct in 1627, according to studies as recent as 2022.

Cow Image

There are two widely accepted domestication events – the taurine line developed in the Near East, including central Anatolia, the Levant, and Western Iran, and the indicine line originating in the province currently known as Pakistan. The indicine cattle could be distinguished from their distinctive humps, which the taurine ones lacked. Though both forms derive their lineage from the auroch, yet as per genetic studies they have been independently domesticated. From there, the cow began to spread globally. This was partly because of its usage as a standard form of currency in barter due to its value, so people would trade cattle regularly. Cattle, being larger animals with greater utility, held higher value than animals like goats or chickens.


Most cattle are raised on vast stretches of land, with the herds being allowed to graze on grasses and scrublands. This perhaps seems to be one of the ways in utilizing land unsuited for agriculture.

Cattle Horns

The majority of them can survive on marshes, heath, moors, and semi-desert terrain. However, the degree of hardiness varies from one breed to another. The older breeds like Jersey have a greater adjustment level than the modern ones, which seem to lag behind in versatility. This is why farmers mostly prefer raising the older cattle varieties.

Quick Information

  • Biggest breeds of cattle
  • Chianina
  • South Devon
  • Maine-Anjou
  • Smallest breeds of cattle
  • Dexter
  • Lowline
  • Miniature Hereford
  • Best meat-producing cattle
  • Black Angus
  • Charolais
  • Hereford
  • Best milk-producing cattle
  • Holstein
  • Brown Swiss
  • Jersey
  • Rarest cattle breeds
  • Vaynol
  • Irish Moiled
  • White Park

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Join our subscribers' list to get the latest news, and updates delivered directly in your inbox.