Cows 101: Do Cows Have Teeth?

“Do cows have teeth?” is a question we’re frequently asked. ” and “Are they able to bite you?” ” A cow’s teeth are incredibly vital since they must be able to chew grass in order to digest it. Although cows have teeth, they are unable to bite you. This is why:


Yes, cows have teeth, and their teeth may be used to determine their age.

We normally know when our cattle are born because we’re a cow-calf farm. However, if we are unsure, we can estimate their age by examining their teeth. The number of incisor teeth, the kind of teeth (“baby teeth” or “permanent teeth”), and the wear and overall appearance of the teeth are all factors in determining age.

How many teeth does a cow have?

Cows have 32 teeth in total, divided into three types: incisors, premolars, and molars. To determine their age, just the incisors (bottom front teeth) are used.

Matt checks the teeth of a cow in this short video. (And don’t worry, the cow is completely unharmed!)

Can a cow bite you? No.

Cows are unable to bite people because they lack upper front teeth.

When cattle chew grass, they force their sharp bottom teeth against the hard palate at the top of their mouth. This causes the grass blades to be cut, allowing them to nibble on the grass.

A cow may “gum” you, but it will not bite you because it lacks upper teeth.

Fun facts about cow teeth

  • Cattle have a total of 32 teeth. Six incisors, or biting teeth, and two canines in the lower front of the jaw make up this set.
  • The incisor teeth, which are located at the bottom front of the jaw, are used to determine the age of a cow. When determining the age of cattle, the farmer (or veterinarian) examines the front bottom row of teeth. He’s searching for the quantity of teeth, the type of teeth (baby teeth vs. permanent teeth), as well as the wear and overall appearance of the teeth.
  • Cattle have baby teeth when they are born. They get their first permanent teeth between the ages of 12 and 2.
  • Incisors, premolars, and molars are the three types of teeth found in cows.
  • Cows are unable to bite because they lack top front teeth. They may be able to “gum” you, but they cannot bite you.
  • Cattle have molars on both the upper and lower jaws, but only the lower jaw has incisors.
  • The wear on a cow’s teeth increases as it ages. The sharpness of the tips of the teeth will deteriorate as they grind down.
  • Ruminant animals, such as cows, regurgitate their meal. This implies they ingest grass after it has been partially chewed, regurgitate it, chew it again, then swallow it again. They repeat this process roughly 50 times so that the plant fiber can be fully digested by their stomach.nbsp;Ruminant animals have a four-chambered stomach that allows them to vomit their food in order to receive the most nutrients from it.
  • Instead of top front teeth, all ruminant animals have a strong dental pad on their top lip. Cattle, sheep, goats, antelopes, giraffes, deer, and other animals have this rough pad at the top of their mouths.
  • Dentures made of cow, hippopotamus, and walrus teeth were fashioned for George Washington by his dentist.

One more thing!

Are you interested in learning more about beef? Here are some popular beef topics and recipes that you might enjoy. In addition, we offer an entire ebook about beef that walks you through the process of purchasing and preparing beef from the perspective of a farmer.

  • What is Grass-Fed Beef, and how does it differ from conventional beef?
  • How We Feed Cows on the Farm
  • What’s the Difference Between a Bull and a Steer? What’s the difference between a cow and a heifer?
  • 27 Amazing Cow Facts That Will Astound Your Friends
  • Purchasing a Cow How Much Beef Does It Contain?

Don’t forget!

We send out a weekly e-newsletter with farm updates, beef recipes, and information on when our next beef will be available for purchase. When you sign up, you’ll receive a cheat sheet with nine questions to ask before buying beef from a farmer.

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