If you happened to see different cows, you probably think they are all the same. But one-size-fits-all doesn't apply to cows.

Cattle are of two types: dairy cattle and beef cattle. Here's how to tell them apart.


Because they're genetically bred for milk production rather than for fat and meat, dairy cattle tend to be leaner and more angular than beef cattle. Take a good look of their top line - from spine to hip. If it looks very prominent - some may even think they are emaciated - then chances are, it's a dairy cow.


Dairy cows produce five to eight times more milk than beef bovine (or 8 to 10 gallons of milk versus 1 to 2 for beef cows). Their udders are much more prominent and hang low, whereas a beef cow's aren't very obvious and may even be concealed by hair.


Ninety five percent of the time, beef cattle are born with more diverse coat colors and patterns, including spots and mottled patterns. Beef cattle may be black, blonde, red and white, grey, brown and white, and more.

For more trivia and tips about cows and farming, check out our other blog posts on the site.