Facts About Cow Horns

March 31, 2017

Growths that stick out from the skulls of some cows are known as cow horns. Horns are a huge part of the cow’s sacredness.

There is a wrong notion that horns are found only in male cattle. Both males and females can have them. Today, cows with horns have almost become a rarity. That cows don’t have them, in fact, seems almost normal.

Facts About Cow Horns

What Are Horns?

Horns are made of two components- keratin and bone. The core or centre of the horn is the bone and is merged to the skull bone. A protective covering made of keratin covers the bone core.

Horns are an undying part of the animal, because it lasts a lifetime. Horns end in a point on each side of the animal’s head and do not branch out. Animal horns might be found on both males and females, or males only depending on the species.

What Animals Have Horns?

Animals from the family Bovidae are found to have horns. The family Bovidae includes such species as cattle, goats, sheep, gazelles, bison, buffalo, antelope, and others. Animals from the family Bovidae called Bovids wander across the continents of Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America. Horns are found in many species of Bovids on both males and females. However, in some species hones are found on males only.

Why Do Cows Have Horns?

Horns are used by cows for fighting, basically as weapons of defense, or as a symbol of rank or display during mating seasons. The Blood vessels in the bone core of some cows with horns help to keep the animal cool by acting as a normal warmer.

Fact File

  • For thermo-regulation and cooling cow needs horns. In the animal’s natural biology and immunity also horns are a contributing factor.
  • Horned cows can defend themselves and their young from predators such as dogs and wolves.
  • For roping or holding the animal’s head horns provide a secure point.
  • In some breeds horns are traditional, and breed standards may require their presence.
  • Horns have cultural significance in some counties, and are often decorated during festivals.
  • Dehorning costs money and takes time.

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