How to tell the age of cattle



The age of the ox or cow is told chiefly by the teeth, and less perfectly by the horns. The temporary teeth are in part through at birth, and all the incisors are through in twenty days; the first, second and third pairs of temporary molars are through in thirty days; the teeth have grown large enough to touch each other by the sixth month; they gradually wear and fall in eighteen months; the fourth permanent molars are through at the fourth month; the fifth at the fifteenth; the sixth at two years. The temporary teeth begin to fall at twenty-one months, and are entirely replaced by the thirtyninth to the forty-fifth month. The development is quite complete at from five to six years. At that time the border of the incisors has been worn away a little below the level of the grinders. At six years, the first grinders are beginning to wear, and are on a level with the incisors. At eight years, the wear of the first grinders is very apparent. At ten or eleven years, used surfaces of the teeth begin to bear a square mark surrounded by a white line, and this is pronounced on all the teeth by the twelfth year; between the twelfth and the fourteenth year this mark takes a round form. The rings on the horns are less useful as guides. At ten or twelve months the first ring appears; at twenty months to two years the second; at thirty to thirty-two months the third ring, at forty to forty-six months the fourth ring, at fifty four to sixty months the fifth ring, and so on. But, at the fifth year, the three first rings are indistinguishable, and at the eighth year all the rings. Besides, the dealers file the horns.





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