Bos tauruscow holstein 2

Family

  • Bovidae

Lifespan

  • Lifespan may exceed 20 years but it is limited by human culling

Size

  • Height: 58-60 inches at shoulder
  • Weight: 1500-2000 pounds

Habitat

  • Only found in captivity, this animal can graze in fields and grasslands

Diet

  • In the wild: Not found in the wild; cattle ancestors would have eaten grasses and similar plant matter
  • At the zoo: Hay and high fiber grain in cold weather or for treats

Reproduction

  • 1-2 young are born after a gestation of 9 months.
  • Holstein heifers (young female cattle that have not yet been bred) can be bred as young as 15 months old but the ideal age to first breed a female is between 24 and 27 months

Special adaptationscow holstein

  • Cattle are ruminant digesters and process food through a 4-chambered stomach. This adaptation allows them to leech as many nutrients from their food as possible, which in turn allows ruminants to be able to survive in places where non-ruminant herbivores could not live. They also do not have to consume as much food to supply their bodies with energy.
  • Cattle tongues are extremely long – they lick their interior nasal cavities to increase the amount of good bacteria in their digestive tract, which help break down the course matter in their diet.

Interesting facts

  • This breed originated in the Netherlands about 2000 years ago
  • Holsteins are one of the most easily recognizable dairy cows in the world
  • Cutie Pie, our resident Holstein, loves attention and people. She can almost always be found at her fence line waiting to greet visitors!
  • Ruminants usually do not have upper incisors or canines, just a rough pad on the roof of their mouths
  • Cattle are considered to be the most important livestock animal and are among the most populous domestic animal
  • There are over 9 million dairy cows in the U.S., with approximately 90% of them being of Holstein decent
  • Holstein cows give more milk than any other dairy breed in the U.S.
  • The average Holstein cow produces around 23,000 pounds of milk, or 2,674 gallons, of milk each lactation. With a standard lactation lasting 305 days, that comes out to 75 pounds, or almost 9 gallons of milk per cow per day

Conservation status

  • CITES –Not Listed
  • IUCN –Not Evaluated

Sources

  1. Animal Diversity Web. Accessed February, 2016. http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Bos_taurus/
  2. Appendices I, II, and III of CITES. (February 5, 2015) Accessed January 2016. http://www.cites.org/eng/app/appendices.php
  3. Encyclopedia of Life. Accessed January 2016. http://www.eol.org/pages/328699/details
  4. Holstein USA.com. Facts about Holstein Cattle. Accessed February, 2016. http://www.holsteinusa.com/holstein_breed/holstein101.html
  5. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. (2015) Accessed January 2016. http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/search

cow holstein winter