Bovines - Cattle


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  1.   1.  Speech
  2.   2.  Uses
  3.   3.  Types
    1.   3.1  Cattle
  4.   4.  Functions
  5.   5.  Sources

Bovines (more simply referred to as cattle or cows) are Livestock animals. Luperci from more advanced and sophisticated societies may be quite knowledgeable and well-versed in the usage, benefits, and care of bovines, and some may even keep them as a companion rather than as a resource. On the contrary, non-shifters and more “feral” Luperci are more likely to see bovines as prey animals, be afraid of them or regard them with caution, and/or act aggressively towards them. Approaching an bovine while in Lupus or Secui might make one be more readily perceived as a threat due to hundreds of years of natural evolution and instincts in avoiding dangerous predators such as canines.

Due to many decades without human selective breeding and involvement, only the hardest of cattle would be able to survive and thrive in present-day 'Souls. Their larger size and food requirement also limits the variety of nowaday breeds that might be found in North America and find their way into playable 'Souls. Cattle are unable to be transported across the oceans with current 'Souls technology, and players should keep this in mind when creating companion animals.

As with most domesticated animals formerly maintained by humans, specific "types" of this species are likely to have interbred significantly. Breeds are no longer in existence: however, traits of these particular breeds (the most frequently reared) are likely to persist in the wild landrace of this type of animal found in 'Souls. Without selective breeding, formerly domesticated animals would breed indiscriminately. Over a few generations, it's likely they would begin to revert to their former wild type and lose some of the characteristics enforced by humans and breeding. While not enough time has passed for all selectively bred traits to disappear entirely, it's likely many of these traits have become blended into one another.

Most non-domesticated Bovinae species are prohibited due to restrictions in travel realism and lack of domestication.

1.  Speech

According to our Speech Guide, this creature speaks Low Speech naturally. It is therefore not able to communicate with Luperci. This creature is listed as having the ability to learn some limited comprehension of high speech, but generally will never be able to speak it.

2.  Uses

  • Food: Meat from a bovine is called beef. Cattle bones can also be used for chewing, though may be better prized for making stock for soups and the like.
    • Bovine meat is typically rich in fats, yielding a juicy and tender taste. The more marbling (or flecks of fat seen within the muscle tissue) the meat has, the better it is said to taste, be more tender, and carry better flavor.
    • Cows that have had calves can also provide milk, which can be consumed or crafted into other products, such as butter.
  • By-Products:
    • Pelts and hides: As with any animal, hides and pelts can be made from them.
      • Leather: Their leather usually heavier, is not a very stretchable material, and, as a leather, is not known for its softness. What it lacks in these though, it more than makes up for in being highly durable, tough, as well as providing sufficient protection from the elements and environment.
    • Glue: Made from boiling connective tissues (skin, tendons, bones, hooves, etc.).
      • Hoof Glue: Best used for wooden surfaces; does not leave any visible marks.
  • Companionship: Though less common than horses, cattle can also be kept for their companionship and usefulness as beasts of burden.
    • Travel: While Luperci may be able to travel great distances in Lupus or Secui, some prefer to remain in Optime for various reasons. Bovines — typically in the form of oxen — can be used to pull carts or wagons.
    • Labor: Oxen can be used in place of horses or mules. Typically yoked in pairs, these animals can often perform light labor (such as plowing or pulling a small cart), while a team of oxen may be used to do heavier work.

3.  Types

3.1  Cattle

Domestic Cattle (Bos taurus)

Useful Information
  • Terminology:
    • Heifer (female, never had a calf), Cow (female, has had at least 1 calf)
    • Bull (male, intact), Steer (male, castrated)
  • Description: Typical of Bovidae, they have cloven feet, and, though their individual sizes may vary dependent on their breeding, they are often described as large, robust, and powerful animals. They can come in a variety of different colors and coat patterns. They have thick hides, and often have short fur, however, there may be some that have long, wooly coats. Some may have horns, others may not have any at all. These horns can vary greatly in size, length, and shape.
  • Behavior: As a whole, cattle may be described as passive or docile, sometimes even "stupid." As any typical herd animal, they can be skittish or cautious, and may be easy to stampede when spooked. Stubbornness is not an uncommon theme with cattle, and some may even be aggressive, particularly when offspring are involved. In herd situations, there is often a "boss cow," as well as a loose social hierarchy between members. Bulls kept with females are typically less aggressive than those separated from them, and multiple bulls may even be kept within an inter-mixed herd depending their cohesion with one another.
    • Noises: Their noises consist primarily of moos, bellows, snorts, and grunts.
    • Predation: Stray or lost cattle may find themselves targeted by coyotes, wolves, or cougars.
  • Food: Cattle primarily eat forage (grasses or fodder) and grains, though, care should be taken in that they are not fed a primarily grain diet or be overfed on grains in general, as this can lead to a number of gastrointestinal problems. They are known to be indiscriminate grazers, meaning that, if something foreign is mixed in with their food, they'll still eat it; it could be anything from plastic debris to bolts or nails. Cattle are unable to, truly, throw up their stomach contents, and, due to Luperci's limited technology, ingesting such foreign bodies could be fatal. Treats can include apples, carrots, pumpkins, and oats. Cattle should not be given broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, turnips, kale, or radishes in large quantities, and should not be fed citrus fruits or onions at all.
  • Habitat: They thrive best in open terrain and pastures.
Quick Facts
  • Lifespan: 18-22 years
  • Activity Pattern: Diurnal
  • Social Structure: Inter-mixed or same-sex herds
  • Breeding Season: April-September
  • Birthing Season: February-March
  • Gestation: 9 months
  • Height:
    • Bull: 104-144 cm (41-57 in)
    • Cow: 88-135 cm (35-53 in)
  • Weight:
    • Bull: 771-953 kg (1,700-2,100 lbs)
    • Cow: 454-771 kg (1,000-1,700 lbs)

4.  Functions

Years without human intervention means that some of the more obvious distinctions between cattle — such as "beef" and "dairy" breeds — may no longer be relevant or even exist, as these types and breeds were designed with mass-production and a large consumer base in mind. Luperci are more likely to see a cow as, simply, a cow rather than a beef cow or a dairy cow. Of course, characters are free to reintegrate these terminologies just as they are to encourage selective breeding for desired wants or needs.


While all bovines can be used for meat, some may be especially desirable for their ability to put on weight and muscle mass over their ability to produce large qualities of milk during calving. Larger, fattier bovines yield more meat. A 1,200 lbs (544 kg) animal can produce up to 490-750 lbs (222-340 kg) of meat.


Female cattle must produce a calf in order to provide milk, though, may begin producing milk as early as 30-45 days before they actually calve. More productive cows can produce as much as 9 gallons of milk per day, though, most may average more around 6 to 7 gallons per day. On average, a cow will produce milk for about 10 months after calving, and should be allowed 2 months to "dry off" before being bred again. Calves are often removed from the mother within the first few days or so if milking is to be the cow's primary function. Cows that are producing milk should be milked daily to relieve pressure in their udders and to ensure, overall, happy cows. Cattle bred mostly for their milk are often leaner and less fatty than those whose primary focus is providing meat upon being slaughtered.


Despite often being viewed as a breed of cattle, an ox (plural: oxen) is actually just a bovine that is trained for work as a draft or labor animal. Though they are typically steers, an ox can be male or female, intact or castrated. Steers are often chosen, however, due to their larger size and inherent strength, while also boasting a more docile temperament than bulls, making them easier and safer to work with. They can perform a variety of functions that most Equines can, and are typically paired off via a yoke to perform a task. Oxen are used for plowing, transport, hauling cargo, grain-grinding by trampling or by powering machines, irrigation by powering pumps, and wagon drawing. Oxen were commonly used to skid logs in forests.

While slower, oxen can pull heavier loads for longer periods of time than horses, averaging around 2.5 times their own body weight compared to a horse, which averages closer to 1.5 times their own weight over long distances. Oxen also require less food to maintain than a draft horse might. As well, where a horse is more inclined to quit when a load will not budge, oxen are often more likely to keep trying, and its this stubbornness that makes them valuable for pulling heavy loads. Compared to horses, too, oxen are also less prone to injury because they are more sure-footed.

5.  Sources

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