Animals

Ox Facts: 21 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Discover fascinating ox facts such as that this mammal does not have a specified gender.
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Ox, or oxen if referring to plural, is a kind of bovine trained as draft animals. They are also called bullocks in India and Australia. Herds of oxen are castrated male cattle. Oxen are adults who are above the age of four. The adult male cattle breed is commonly castrated to control them easily and employ them in manual labor chores. This large horned and strong wild mammal has a number of utilities. Herd of oxen circle across Europe and North America. There are no wild oxen in South America and Australia. Wild oxen are found in some parts of Asia and Africa. An oxen herd can survive in any season, be it snow, winter or summer.  

In New England, traditionally young castrated cattle were selected for draft work and were trained from a young age. They were called working steers. These steers were later bought by teamsters in the number of dozen yokes, all belonging to different sizes. The herd of working steers is considered fully trained and ready to work when they are four years old. They are later known as oxen.      

Read on for more ox facts for kids. You may also check our other fact files about the musk ox and cape buffalo from Kidadl.

Ox

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Grass, plants, and grains

What do they eat?

Herbivore

Average litter size?

N/A

How much do they weigh?

1500-3000 lb (680.3-1360.7 kg)

How long are they?

75-90 in (190.5-228.6 cm)


How tall are they?

47.2 (120 cm)


What do they look like?

Dark brown, off white, cream, tan, and dark gray

Skin Type

Hide, and covered with guard hairs

What are their main threats?

Wolves, bears, and humans

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Farms, fields, grass plains, and the countryside

Locations

Europe, Asia, North America, and Africa

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Mammal

Scientific Name

Bos taurus

Family

Bovidae

Genus

Bos

Ox Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an ox?

An ox is a large-horned and strong bovine that is mostly bred for the purpose of various types of manual work in farming and transport. They have hooves and large ears, similar to camels and horses.

What class of animal does an ox belong to?

An ox belongs to the class of mammals and the family Bovine. Oxen are male cattle that are usually castrated but the female counterpart gives birth to live offspring and breastfeeds.  

How many oxen are there in the world?

The species is not endangered or extinct. They are found in herds in regions with a suitable season (snow, winter, or summer) where they are bred. An oxen herd can survive in any season, be it snow, winter, or summer.  

Where does an ox live?

Herds of oxen are bred for the purpose of various human activities that are economic and commercial in nature. They are bred in the countryside containing farms, meadows, green fields, grasslands with minimal snow, and woods. Oxen are herbivores, and they require plants and vegetation as fodder.

Oxen are found in the continents of Asia, Africa, Europe, and America.

What is an ox's habitat?

An ox is a member of the cattle breed. For a long time, humans have domesticated members of the cattle breed for a number of uses like meat, milk, farm work, and transport carriages.

Oxen have been used by humans for many purposes. Their habitat is built by humans in their circle. An ox's habitat is kind of a stable or shed where they can be cleaned, fed, and rest. It is like a temporary woodshed in the open outer fields where they walk and graze like other farm animals.  

Who do oxen live with?

Oxen are domesticated and used by humans in their daily routine chores. Depending on the type of work and the weight that needs to be lugged, usually, a pair of oxen are used. When they are grazing in the outer fields, they are usually found in smaller groups and herds. The number of oxen living together is a subject dependent on the owners since they decide how many animals to keep and domesticate.

How long does an ox live?

An ox lives for about 18-22 years. Its lifespan depends on the quality of care and maintenance given by the owners. It also depends on whether the oxen herd is overworked or kept under hostile conditions detrimental to their health.

How do they reproduce?

An ox is a bovine that is castrated at birth. Oxen cannot reproduce any offspring since they are not fertile. They are only used for manual labor and draft work for most of the year except during harvest season in November.  

What is their conservation status?

There are many species of ox animals. The musk ox was worried to be endangered decades ago but they have reproduced to stabilize their population. Their conservation status is Least Concern by the IUCN. The standard dark brown and white oxen are not endangered. Therefore there is no legal status of their conservation yet.

Ox Fun Facts

What do oxen look like?

Oxen or ox (singular) are members of the bovine category or subfamily. The category contains cattle like cows, bulls, and buffaloes. They are largely domesticated cloven-hooved or horned herbivores who are four years old. They are castrated so it is easier to tame and control them.

Oxen have large or medium-sized horns and hooves beneath their feet. They are usually found in dark brown, light brown, off-white, gray, and cream colors, or combined with one or two colors. They have coarse hairs on their shoulder. Oxen found in Asia may have a small hump on their backs. They have ears that stand upright or pointing either side. An oxtail is bushy at the end.  

There are pointed horns on either side of the ox skull.

How cute are they?

An ox looks like a large, standard draft bovine. Ox horns are curved and pointed. It does not have any physically appealing features that make it look cute or adorable. Young working steers who are given training until the age of four could look cute.  

How do they communicate?

Bovine animals have similar sounds and cries that they make in case of any potential threat from predators like wolves and bears. They are usually peaceful and calm animals who do as they are told. They may give out a peculiar cry if they are in physical pain or other dangers.

How big is an ox?

Oxen are bigger and heavier than cows. Cows are the smallest of the lot. Bulls have leaner muscles and they tend to be heavier than oxen. Oxen may have a more imposing structure than bulls.  

How fast can an ox run?

An ox can move at a pace of 24.8 mph (40 kph). They are not runners.

How much does an ox weigh?

The average weight of an ox is between 1500-3000 lb (680.3-1360.7 kg). An ox animal can pull one and a half times its body weight across any rugged terrain, that's how strong they are.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The gender segregation of cattle families is described here. Cows are female members of the cattle family. They have to be four years old and given birth to a calf at least once. Bulls are the male counterparts. An ox could be any bovine which is castrated and assigned to work on the fields in summer or as load-carrying mules.

What would you call a baby ox?

There is no term for a baby ox since they cannot reproduce any young. However, oxen below the age of four are called working steers. Steers are given training to the age of four. When they become adults, they can be called an ox.

What do they eat?

Oxen are curvy-horned herbivores that feed on grass, hays, and plants. They are usually kept in such open fields and farms where it is easier to find fodder, an important constituent in the ox diet.

Are they dangerous?

Oxen have a calm and peaceful temperament. They rarely become aggressive like bulls. One of the reasons for this is their castration. They do not pose any threats or dangers to humans.  

Would they make a good pet?

Oxen are not kept as pets but they are domesticated by humans to do manual and draft work. They are useful animals. In the olden days, many depended on oxen for plowing farms in the summer, transporting goods and humans, and running machines.

Did you know...

Oxen can go working the whole day with only four hours of sleep.

An ox tail earlier represented the tail of oxen, but today, it refers to the tail of veal or beef cattle.

What is the difference between an ox vs. bull?

Bulls are the male counterparts and cows are females. Oxen cannot be either since they are castrated at a young age.

Bulls are used for their hides and meat as food. Oxen are used to do hard labor like dig, farm, plow, and transport.

Oxen look bigger than bulls but bulls are heavier.

Bulls are more aggressive than oxen. Oxen have a calm temperament.  

What is the plural of an ox?

The plural of ox is oxen.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals from our black bear facts and black maned lion facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our oxen pulling a plow coloring pages.

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