The young animals of many herd animals are referred to as calves , for example cattle , deer , but also elephants , giraffes and hippos ; This designation is also common with marine mammals, i.e. whales and manatees .
In cattle, the young until sexually mature is called a calf, so as a rule a young cattle of both sexes up to the completion of the first year of life; a bull (s) calf is a male cub. A young cattle raised only with milk is called a milk calf up to a weight of 150 kg and an animal over 300 kg that is not yet sexually mature is called a young cattle. Female young animals are heifers from then until the first calving . However, since the term cow is also used for many other animal species , a young whale is also referred to as a calf.
Today the cattle are mostly raised separately from the mother, because the milk is milked by the farmer and processed in the dairy into drinking milk , butter , cheese or other dairy products. On the other hand, keeping cows together with their calves ( suckler cow keeping) can be more animal-friendly keeping . It is usually only practiced when meat production is in the foreground.
Calves that are fed only with milk and hay until they are slaughtered and therefore produce particularly tender and light-colored meat are called milk calves.