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Posted by on Jan 3, 2016 in Tell Me Why |

What Are a Cow’s Horns Made Of?

What Are a Cow’s Horns Made Of?

Cow horns, found in both sexes, begin growing soon after birth, wear continually, and do not branch. The horn is composed of dermal bone, covered by a thin epidermal layer, and lastly a thick layer of keratinized cells.

A cow’s horns are made up mostly of a special growth of tough skin material called “keratin.” The nails on your fingers and toes are made of this material. So are the claws and hooves of animals.

The horns keep growing throughout the animal’s life. Since cattle can use their horns as weapons, they are sometimes dehorned to make them safer for cattlemen to handle.

The cattle are also less likely to injure each other. Some breeds do not grow horns. Cattle born without horns, or whose horns are removed, are called “polled” cattle.

Content for this question contributed by Donald Miltenberger, resident of Stanfield, Umatilla County, Oregon, USA