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Cattle – are domesticated artiodactyl mammals reared worldwide for economic benefit. The female is called a cow, the male a bull. Castrated bulls, called oxen, are less aggressive and are easier to control. The young ones are called calves. A cow that has not given birth yet is a heifer. A pregnant female is described as gravid or with calf. A female cow that has given birth has calved. Cattle have organisms in their rumen (one of the 4 parts of the stomach), on which they practically depend for survival. When chewed food moves to the rumen the microorganisms that live there begin to decompose the food. They do not have a long life and thereby the cattle live from their bodies. The forebear of most breeds of domestic cattle was the now extinct urus (Bos primigenius), whose original area of range apparently reached from Western Europe to the Middle East and also to Transcaucasia. It had a height at the withers of up to 2 m and weighed 800 – 1000 kg. The females (cows) are usually pregnant for 9 – 10 months, depending on their overall physical condition and pedigree. The composite stomach of cattle consists of the rumen, the reticulum, the psalterium and the abomasum.

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