Although we eat meat from male and female cattle, the term “bull” in agriculture usually refers to a male cow kept purely for breeding and not consumption.
In this article, we will know why we don’t typically consume bull meat and what it’s used for when we do. We’ll also go through some frequent misunderstandings about the distinctions between male and female beef cattle.
What Do We Eat: Bull and Cow Meat?
Different terms in agriculture refer to different types of cattle. Heifers and steers are the most common beef sources, with cows and bulls coming in a distant second.
Here’s a rundown of these terminologies, as well as an explanation of when we eat their meat.
Female cattle who have never given birth are known as heifers. Yes, we eat their heifer meat. And to avoid undesired births, beef herds are frequently made up of heifers and steers.
Male cattle that have been castrated are called steer beef. Like heifers, we can also eat the steer’s meat. And to avoid undesired births, beef herds are frequently made up of heifers and steers.
This is a cattle that has given birth to a calf. In their beef herds, most beef farmers use heifers and steers. We occasionally eat this type of meat. But, calves are a reliable source of money for cattle breeders, and they are more valuable than selling a cow for meat.
These are male cattle that have not been castrated. Bulls are male cattle that have been left unblemished to be used for reproductive purposes. We rarely eat this type of bull calves meat. Bulls are costly and are only sold for meat when they are no longer capable of producing calves.
Do We Consume Bulls?
Everyone understands that we eat beef from cows now. People are frequently puzzled about whether or not we eat bulls; well, here’s the answer: only castrated or desexed bulls are butchered for meat. Another controversial topic is bull vs. steer, and you can learn more about the differences here. (Read How Long To Keep Dogs Off New Sod)
Steers are castrated bulls, whereas bulls retain their testicles intact. As a result, it’s clear that beef comes from both cows and steers. Bulls with desirable characteristics that a breeder desires for breeding are not castrated, raised or kept for slaughter.
In addition, bull meat comes from an older animal, it is rougher and fattier than typical beef cattle flesh, but it is still palatable. Bull meat differs from an ordinary beef cow in that it is usually ground or minced rather than sliced into steaks.
Why Don’t We Eat Bull Meat As Much As We Do Cow Meat?
Although bull meat is edible, we don’t eat it since the farmer doesn’t make enough money selling it, and the flesh is normally of inferior quality than conventional beef.
Let’s look at the reasons below why we don’t eat bull meat regularly:
1. Bulls are more useful when it comes to breeding.
The main reason we don’t eat meat from bulls is that they aren’t supposed to be utilized for meat in the first place.
Bulls can be highly expensive, costing tens of thousands of dollars, and are significantly more beneficial to the farmer than the one-time meat price to produce more cattle.
2. Bull Meat Isn’t as Tender as Beef Meat.
Bulls are much larger and older than heifers and steers, as they are used for breeding when they are younger. They are only sold for meat when they can no longer produce offspring.
As a result, bull meat is usually of lower quality and doesn’t have tender meat than meat from younger steers or heifers, which is more delicate.
3. Testosterone has tainted the meat of bulls.
Furthermore, bulls who have been utilized for breeding have a greater testosterone level in their body. According to research by the University of Nebraska, excessive testosterone levels can alter the flavor of beef.
Excess testosterone in meat is commonly referred to as “taint” and can be found in other livestock, particularly pigs.
That is why beef cattle, specifically males, are often castrated and make handling easier.
4. Less Marbling in Bull Meat
Bulls have greater muscle and less fat than steers and heifers, which implies cuts of bull meat have less marbling.
This is exacerbated by the fact that bull meat is older and rougher than cow meat because bulls are only utilized for meat once they are too old to bear calves.
Bull meat is less attractive than cuts from younger beef cattle because of the marbling, which gives steaks and other top cuts flavor.
Is It True That Bulls Are Slaughtered for Meat?
Only a few bulls are needed for breeding, and most bulls are castrated to reduce handling issues. Bulls are difficult to control, and they may fight to the death.
Castrated bulls or steers are butchered for beef, and the meat of the steer and heifer is sold at the market. Bull meat is available from some butchers, but it is in short supply.
When Cows Are Butchered, How Old Are They?
For the high-quality grade market, the age at slaughter “usually” ranges from 12 to 22 months. The age difference is because some dairy cows are weaned and sent straight to a feeding facility while others are finished for slaughter.
Is Bull Meat Taste Bad?
Steers (castrated bulls) and Heifers produce high-quality beef (unbred female). These two make the majority of the meat on the market. The taste and texture of bull meat differ from that of a steer or a heifer. It is stringy, tough, lean, dark, and has distinct chemistry from Steer meat.
It can be made palatable with the help of some sausages because of its good binding characteristics. With a few differences, the preparation and cooking processes are very similar. No matter what you do, the tenderloin of a bull will never be as supple and sensitive as that of a steer.
Is Steak Produced by Cows or Bulls?
Who doesn’t enjoy a good steak? It’s important to know where it originated; many people believe it comes from beef cows or bulls. In actuality, the Steers, along with cows, help to deliver steaks to us. The meat of a bull isn’t tasty enough to be used for steaks.
Do Female Cows Produce All of the Beef?
No, beef can come from commercially raised cows male or female cattle, though male beef cattle are often castrated to make the herd simpler to manage and avoid unwanted pregnancies.
Bulls are male cows that haven’t been castrated, and we don’t eat bull meat very often.
Bull meat is edible, although it is rarely widely consumed because bulls are more helpful to farmers for producing calves.
Farmers may sell bulls for meat when they can no longer serve their duty as a cattle-producing breeding animal, although the meat is less desired than regular beef.
Because bull meat is usually older, more muscular, higher in testosterone, and less soft than heifer or steers meat, it has less flavor than the meat from regular beef cattle.
Because bull meat does not lend itself to prime cuts or steaks, it is generally ground beef. Beef items such as hotdogs and burgers can be made with ground bull flesh.