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What Is the Difference Between a Cow, a Bull, a Buffalo, and an Ox? (Explained)

If you plan to paint within the farm animal industry, you should be familiar with the phrases cow, bull, ox, and buffalo. It’s not likely that buying a bull when you wanted to shop for a cow or a buffalo could have the desired effect.

Before you begin seeking out your first cow, it’s vital that you have a firm grasp on the fundamental phrases used in the livestock industry. How do you tell a bull, a cow, a buffalo, and an ox apart?

In this text, you will find out how those animals are exclusive to each other.

Page Contents

 What exactly is a Cattle Animal?

Bos taurus, or cattle, are huge, domesticated animals with cloven hooves. They are the most common species of the genus Bos and the most recent member of the subfamily Bovinae.Adult ladies and men are called bulls and cows, respectively.

Cattle are often raised as livestock for their hides, which are used to create leather-based products, milk, and meat (pork or veal; see pork farm animals).

They serve as both draught and driving animals (oxen or bullocks, which pull carts, ploughs, and different implements). Every other byproduct that can be converted into manure or gasoline is cattle dung.

 Some locations, including sections of India, place a sturdy spiritual emphasis on livestock. Many small breeds of livestock, just like the Miniature Zebu, are saved as pets.

Different geographical regions are home to various breeds of farm animals. Most taurine farm animals are observed in temperate areas of Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Australia.

What is a buffalo?

We refer to a whole lot of cattle as buffalo. In North America, the term “buffalo” is often used to describe bison.



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Buffalos are big, cattle-like creatures, despite the fact that they are not genetically associated with cattle. A typical male buffalo measures 5 feet tall at the shoulder and weighs approximately 1600 pounds. They are approximately 7 feet long from nose to tail.

African buffaloes are a hardy species that frequently live in the wild. For food, they’re sometimes hunted. Water buffaloes, on the other hand, are mostly found in Asia.

Similar to how cows and oxen are utilised in other components of the sector, Asians use water buffalo for agricultural functions.

However, bison and real buffalo are only distantly associated. The home of authentic buffaloes encompasses the following:

  • South Asia,
  • Southeast Asia
  • Sub-Saharan Africa  

 These incorporate the:

  • The water buffalo
  • The wild water buffalo
  • The African buffalo

What is an ox?

An ox, also known as a bullock, is a male cow that has been trained and used as a draught animal.Castration reduces testosterone and aggression in adult male livestock, making them docile and safer to handle.

Oxen are regularly castrated. In a few places, bulls or cows (grown females) can also be hired.

  • Oxen are hired for a variety of responsibilities, such as threshing grain by stomping on it, powering equipment that grinds grain or provides irrigation, and transportation (pulling carts, transporting wagons, and even riding).
  • Furthermore, oxen can be hired to skid logs in forests, especially during select-reduce, low-effect logging.
  • Normally, oxen are yoked in pairs. One pair can be sufficient for mild responsibilities, consisting of wearing family objects on smooth roads.
  • Additionally, pairs can be delivered for heavy work as needed. A team hired to carry a heavy load over difficult terrain may consist of more than nine or ten pairs.


For more than 6,000 years, oxen have served as both painting and meal animals for humans.

Cow vs. Bull

When talking about cattle, the terms “bull” and “cow” are often used. The reality that a bull is a male and a cow is a girl regularly serves as a useful difference among these members of the Bos genus.

 Although that is a plausible idea, it is also overly simplistic and ignores the diverse differences between these mammals.

Here’s a list of a few main differences between a cow and a bull:

  • A mature female bovine is called a cow, while a mature male bovine that has not been castrated is referred to as a bull.
  • A bull aids in the reproduction of calves and can be used for meat, while a cow is herded as livestock and offers birth to calves.
  • The term “bull” is used to explain the adult males of buffaloes and bovines, while the term “cow” often refers to the females of many large mammalian species.
  • Bulls are perceived as being violent and perilous, while cows are a calmer, extra-mild part of the bovine family.
  • Bulls are most useful for a period of about 12 years, while cows can live up to twenty years and may be of service for the bulk of that time.

FeaturesBullCowSexA mature maleA mature female that has been bredSizeLarger,

heavier, and

extra-muscular than cows smaller than bulls

no longer as muscular, and

larger than heifers Purpose-breeding with cows used to birth calves

raised for milk

Slaughtered for meat MorphologMost species’ males have horns.

muscular, rounded shoulders

large heads with distinguished forehead ridges over their eyes. Some species’ girls have horns.

Possess udders 

wider midsection and greater angular shoulders 12-15 months and older (2 years and up)

Comparison table between a bull and a cow

Cows can note scents up to six miles away due to their keen sense of smell.

Are buffalo and oxen the same?

The words “ox” and “buffalo” are typically used and heard. However, many people are unaware of the distinction between the two.Some people even accept as true that the phrases “ox” and “buffalo” refer to the same animal. Buffaloes and oxen are clearly different.

The buffalo is larger and has more hair than the ox.The male of the mammal cow is referred to as an “ox.” It lacks an udder and is castrated once it reaches adulthood. Although not castrated, a buffalo is likewise a man.

The buffalo is a bovine mammal that’s frequently raised as farm animals in southern Europe, North Africa, South America, and Asia. The Universal Neonatal Foot Orthotic (UNFO) survey found that Asia has become home to 97% of the sector’s buffalo populace.

Buffalo can benefit humanity in a variety of ways.They’re employed in conventional agricultural practices as dairy animals and even for their flesh.

When dried, buffalo dung may be used as gas for houses and makes terrific fertilizer. These animals are kept as zoo animals and are also used to hold hefty masses. Oxen can also benefit humanity.These are bred as draught animals and employed for threshing crops, using grain-grinding machinery, and different irrigation-related tasks.

Oxen are occasionally used to skid logs in the deep woods, even when they run in pairs.These are used in pairs for minor obligations like hauling carts. A larger crew is used when using the oxen for heavy responsibilities. Female buffaloes are larger than adult males, with weights ranging from 400 to 900 kg.The many species of buffalo have extraordinary horns.

River buffaloes have long curled horns, whereas swamp buffaloes have gentler curved horns.Oxen frequently have paler coat colours than buffaloes.

Compared to buffaloes, oxen are nicer to people and less complicated to train. Buffaloes want grass, water, and colour all year long; consequently, they are typically observed in grassy savanna lands and regions with an annual rainfall of more than 300 mm.


Learn the Difference Between an Ox and a Buffalo by Watching This Video.

How Do Oxes and Cows Differ?

A member of the Bovinae subfamily is an ox or cow. Cows and oxen no longer vary considerably in their physiology.

Humans, on the other hand, classify cows and oxen based on the distinct farming methods they employ.The specific differences between a cow and an ox are indexed beneath:

  • A cow is a woman. To be called such, it must be at least four years old and have given birth to at least one calf.A bull is its male counterpart.
  • On the other hand, an ox is a mature bull that has been castrated. Therefore, the main distinction between an ox and a cow can be said to be gender.
  • For their flesh, cows are bred as farm animals. It’s also a dairy animal.
  • In the meantime, the ox is a draught animal.It is employed to pull ploughs, sleds, and carts. It can also be hired as a form of heavy equipment to drive traditional agricultural gear like grain generators and irrigation pumps.
  • An ox is commonly more highbrow than a cow. Oxen are trained animals, so this is the case. It has received the necessary training to follow its handler’s instructions.
  • It can respond to prodding with a rope or whip or to spoken commands. Contrarily, cows are commonly left to graze. They are not skilled due to their proprietors.
  • Large dairy factories’ business cows are housed in a completely unique corral. All they need to do to produce quite a bit of milk is eat and drink.
  • An ox is greater, more potent, and more muscular than a human. Cows, on the other hand, typically lack the oxen’s stronger muscular tissues.

Only at some point in the wet season do buffaloes give birth.


  • Cattle can be male or female, with bulls being the most common.More especially, mature male livestock are referred to as “bulls,” and mature female farm animals that have mated at least as soon as possible are known as “cows.”
  • Cows are grown to give birth to calves, and bulls are raised to reproduce with cows and heifers and create new farm animals.
  • Cows may also be slaughtered for their meat or utilised to supply milk for sale. However, bulls aren’t raised to be killed for their flesh.
  • Buffalos are tremendous farm animal-like creatures that belong to the subtribe Bubalina.
  • Male oxen are often castrated. Although they’re males too, buffaloes aren’t castrated.
  • Oxen are frequently hired for irrigation and other easy obligations like dragging carts.
  • Buffaloes are commonly used for labor-intensive tasks like agriculture and hauling timber.


ox vs bull

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