If you are new to owning cattle, you likely have plenty of questions, and one we get surprisingly frequently is if male cows have udders. So, if you are a beginner cattle owner looking to learn more about your herd, keep reading while we look into if male cows have udders, what the udders do, and how to tell the difference between the many different types of cattle like cows, steers, and bulls so you can be better informed.

The short answer is that male cows do not have udders. But keep reading to learn why and how you can easily tell them apart!

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Do Male Cows Have Udders?

Belmont red cow grazing in grass
Image Credit: Frances Lawlor, Shutterstock

No. Male cows do not have udders. Udders are the cow’s version of the female breast, and they provide exactly the same purpose, to provide her young with milk so they can grow. Since cows produce much more milk than the calf needs, humans usually take the remainder. Female cows grow their udders when they enter puberty, and they produce milk once they give birth to a calf.

The average cow can produce more than 2,500 gallons of milk per year. The Cow can become pregnant at about two and will produce milk for about ten months in response before taking a few months off. Farmers will usually repeat the cycle every year. Male cows do not have udders and instead have testicles to impregnate the females.

Udder Development

As we mentioned earlier, the udder is a group of mammary glands similar to the female breast that grows when introduced to estrogen as the Cow reaches puberty. Each udder contains four glands, and each gland has a teat, which is similar to a nipple. This teat is what the calf suckles, and the farmer’s milk, which drains the gland. The male cows will not grow udders when they reach puberty.

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What Is the Difference Between a Bull, Steer, Heifer, and Cow?

1. The Bull

The Bull is a grown male cow with intact testicles. Farmers primarily use bulls for breeding. It tends to be bigger than the other types of cattle because the additional testosterone allows it to grow larger and develop stronger muscles. While many bulls have horns, not all do, so the only sure-fire way to tell the males from the females is to look for the penis in the midsection then for the intact testicles. The Bull can also be more territorial than the other cattle

Aubrac cow
Image Credit: Frederic Hodiesne, Shutterstock

2. The Steer

The Steer is also a male cow, and like the Bull, it does not grow udders when it reaches puberty; instead, farmers will castrate the Cow to remove the testicles before it reaches puberty. These cows usually don’t get as large as a bull because there’s not as much testosterone and farmers usually use these cattle for beef. Like the Bull, many steers can have horns but not all, so the only way to tell they are not female is to look for the penis in the midsection. A lack of intact testicles will tell you it’s a Steer and not a Bull.

3. The Heifer

A heifer is a female cow under two years old that has not yet given birth and will not yet have any udders. You can differentiate them from male cows because they won’t have a penis in the midsection, and it will usually be slightly smaller due to their young age. Its vulva will be under the tail, and it will develop udders when it reaches puberty and gets pregnant.

4. The Cow

A Cow is the adult version of the Heifer. These cattle will have at least one offspring and a fully developed udder that easily differentiate them from male cows and the Heifer. The vulva under the tail will also be much larger than on a heifer.

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Interesting Cow Facts

pregnant cow
Image Credit: Pixabay
  • A Cow never forgets her young and will lick her adult babies as if still children.
  • Dairy Cows can produce more than 125 pounds of saliva per day.
  • If not used for beef, a Cow can age to about 25 years old.
  • Pilgrims brought Cows with them to America.
  • Like trees, you can determine a cow’s age by counting the rings on its horns.
  • Cows can see in color.
  • Farmers usually keep one Bull for every 30 cows.
  • Cows have been helping to feed people for more than 5,000 years.
  • Cows can pick their noses with their tongue.

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Male Cows do not have udders, nor do they give milk. There are two types of male cows, and both are easy to differentiate from the females because they have a noticeable penis in their midsection. The Bull is a male cow with intact testicles, while farmers will castrate the Steer to use it for meat. The largest type of cattle is the Bull because the extra testosterone enhances growth and muscle size.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over this short guide and found the answers to your questions. If we have helped you understand the different types of cattle better, please share this guide to if male cows have udders on Facebook and Twitter.

Featured Image Credit: ArtTower, Pixabay