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Zebu is one of the world’s oldest cow breeds. There are 75 distinct zebu species, which vary in size, color, and habitat type.

Zebus are the sole species of cattle found in tropical rainforests. Additionally, they inhabit wide grasslands. Let’s learn more about this amazing cattle breed in our zebu facts for kids article.

Scientific Classification of Zebu

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class:   Mammalia

Order: Artiodactyla

Family: Bovidae

Subfamily: Bovinae

Genus: Bos

Species: B. indicus

Zebu Facts for Kids 1-6

a group of zebu calf grazing on grass - zebu facts for kids

1. The zebu’s body is covered with short, thick fur that can be grey, white, red, brown, or black. There are spots on the fur of some animals.

2. Zebus, both male, and female have horns.

3. Compared to other kinds of cattle, zebus are not very big. They can be 34 to 42 inches long and weigh between 331 and 440 pounds. Males are larger than females.

4. People and Zebus communicate with each other all the time because people have raised these cattle as pets. 

5. In India, Zebus are holy animals that are only used as draught animals and to produce milk.

6. Zebus are used as sacrifices in some places, like Madagascar. They are killed and eaten at events like weddings, funerals, and New Year’s Eve.

Zebu Facts for Kids 7-12

7. Like a camel’s hump, a zebu’s hump stores fat that can be used as a source of energy when food is scarce.

8. Wild cats, bears, and people are the main predators of zebus.

9. Most Zebus only have one calf, but sometimes they have twins. For about six months, the calves get milk from their mothers. Most calves can take care of themselves after a year.

10. Zebu can live between 15 and 20 years on average when they are kept as pets.

11. The zebu is one of the oldest breeds of cattle in the world. According to archaeological evidence, the first zebus were seen between 2,000 and 3,000 BCE.

12. Their waste is often used as fuel or as fertilizer, and they are also used to pull carts and other farm tools. Their leather is also used, and their horns and bones are often used to make jewelry, decorations, and tools.

Zebu Facts for Kids 13-18

a zebu looking at the camera

13. Zebus, unlike most other kinds of cattle, are very resistant to viruses and parasites. One reason why people often keep them as pets is because of this.

14. Zebu becomes sexually mature at about 44 months of age. A single male mates with more than one female, but he doesn’t help take care of the calves.

The female stays pregnant for around 285 days,  but this depends on her age and health.

If the calf is a boy, the time it takes to get pregnant is often shorter than if it were a girl.

15. Zebu can have babies with different kinds of cattle. When zebus are bred with gaurs, yaks, and bantengs, many different kinds of zebus are made.

Only genetically pure zebus have humps on their backs.

16. Zebu can run up to 25 miles per hour when it needs to get away from danger.

17. Zebu cows produce one-half gallon (2 liters) of milk every day, while high-performance European breeds can produce up to 21 gallons (80 liters) of milk every day at their peak.

18. Zebu is sexually mature at the age of one and a half years. 

Zebu Facts for Kids 19-24

19. The official stamp of Madagascar is a picture of a zebu.

20. Zebus are grazers. Most of what they eat is grass. Zebus can also eat seeds, leaves, and flowers, but not meat.

21. Zebus are the only kind of cattle that live in tropical rainforests.

They came from the rainforests of south Asia, but it was easy for them to move to South America and Africa, where there are also tropical areas.

22. Zebus are easy to spot because they have a hump on their back. Zebus also have a flap of skin under their lower jaw and ears that hang down.

23. Zebus live in large groups called herds, which are made up of males, females, and their young. 

24. People eat zebu meat and drink its milk. Their waste is used to feed crops and heat homes.

In some parts of the world, rodeo bull riding is done on zebus.

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