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Cows/Cattle/Bull Breeding Habits


Karin wrote at 2012-12-25 19:53:01
The story is a load of bull-crap!!  That someone obviously knows nothing about bovine reproduction and thinks that bovine sex is the same as human sex, which it really is not.  A bull only mates when a cow is receptive, which is during her estrus or "heat" cycle.  This is when she is the most receptive to the bull and the only time [i]she will let him mount her.[/i]  All of the other time she gives him the look or walks/runs away if he tries to mount when she's not in heat.  Bulls are a helluva lot smarter and way more of a gentleman than most human males of modern day society.  He knows that if one of his girls want nothing to do with him, no foreplay, no mating, no nothing, then he leaves her be.  But when she's actively looking for a mate, that's when he comes a-callin' and comes to satisfy her needs.

A bull will breed with a cow repeatedly throughout her heat cycles, and if there's more than one bull, it's not uncommon for all those bulls to conglomerate and take turns mounting and copulating with her.  You may think this constitutes as rape, but in the bovine world, it's just a part of nature and something that a cow probably even enjoys with all the attention she's getting during her standing heat (not that I know anything about what a cow in heat has going through her mind...)  When she goes out of heat, the bull leaves her alone.  

Once a cow gives birth to a calf and comes back into heat again 18 to 24 days later (ideally, a cow should be bred 45 to 60 days after she's calved, 80 to 90 days in order to get her to calve on the same/similar date she last calved), that bull will be more than happy to come back again and service her when she's asking for it.

A bull will only mate with a cow once and never again if he's only being used to breed her that one time and never again.  In other words, a bull will only breed with that one cow if the producer lets him or decides that once is enough, then ships or sells him for whatever reason that made the producer decide that the bull needs to go.  

But no, the cow story is definitely not true.



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Becky Gee


Questions about Dairy cattle. All breeds and all stages of life. I'll answer questions about breeding, milking, common dieases, antibiotic withold times, birthing, weaning, nutrition. Please talk to your veterinarian for specific health questions, or in an emergency, as I AM NOT A VET.


I worked for a small animal veterinarian as an assistant for 4 years. At the same time I was a resident herd manager for a Brown Swiss dairy farm. I've worked with cattle at all stages of life, helped with birthing, and general care of dairy cattle. I'm currently in college majoring in animal science

Lake County 4-H program

Second year animal science student at The Ohio State University

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