Humans have domesticated animals for various purposes from a long time. They have used especially cattle as source of food, clothing material and transportation. Some animals like the oxen are used in farming also. These animals have been friends of human beings from thousands of years.
Fact 1 – Description
A bull belongs to the Bos Tauras (cattle) species. He is an adult male and not castrated. Farmers often keep bulls around their farms for protection. A bull usually weights 1700 to 1800 pounds. Their stomachs have four compartments and are strictly vegetarians. The Scottish Highland Bull is famous for its huge size, strong muscles and aggressive nature. Their bones are thicker than cows and the large feet, muscular necks and large bony heads with protective ridges over their eyes make them unique and outstanding as compared to cows that are large but not as strong and muscular as bulls. The hairs on the bulls’ bodies are short but the necks and heads have a ‘mane” of curlier and wooly hairs.
Fact 2 – What Bulls Eat?
Bulls are strictly vegetarians and they eat feed that is rich in protein and alfalfa hay that provides the specific nutrients that bulls require to stay healthy. They swallow the entire food all at once and later regurgitate it into the mouth for chewing. This process is known as “chewing the cud”. Bulls live for about twenty to twenty-five years.
Fact 3 – Behavior
Bulls are most often of a ferocious type especially those that are not castrated. Their strong features assist them in fighting for domination over a herd and the winner has superior access to cows for reproduction. One bull can father calves with many different cows. Serious cattle ranchers take special care to feed such bulls with healthy diets. It is a myth that bulls get agitated when they see red color and are incited to charge. The fact is cattle are red-green color blind. In bull-fighting, when the matador’s cape moves rapidly it is the movement that provokes the bull to charge towards him and not the red color. Most bulls have an aggressive temperament and require careful handling. Otherwise they may hurt human and other animals also. It has been found that about 42% of all livestock related deaths in Canada are a result of bull attacks. Dairy breed bulls are more ferocious and unpredictable. In some parts of America, dairy farmers are often injured and die from bull attacks in their own farms. It is for this reason that these kinds of bulls that are often uncontrollable are kept in a bull-pen. It is a strongly built shelter and pen where the bulls are confined and arrangements are made in such a way that one can feed the bull without entering the pen.
Fact 4 – Various Uses of Bulls
Apart from fathering calves, bulls are also used in certain sports like bull-riding and bull-fighting. They are also used in festivals and folk events like running of the bulls and in ancient sports, bull-leaping. Bulls are used as draught oxen in some areas. Bull-baiting was another cruel sport popular before but was banned by the Cruelty to Animals Act 1835 in England.
Fact 5 – Significance In Human Culture
Bulls are held in high esteem in Hindu culture. They are seen in cave-paintings and is found as the Bull of the Heavens in ancient Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh as early as 2150 B.C. Importance of the bull is reflected in its appearance in the zodiac sign as Taurus. In Hinduism, a bull named Nandi is worshipped as the vehicle of Lord Shiva. The bull appears often in heraldry and as a mascot for amateur and professional sports teams symbolically. They were symbols of fertility and creation in Ancient Egypt and Greece.