I’ve never heard anything used other than “cow” (which is technically incorrect, I know) and I grew up in Wisconsin with cows next door. So should you go with what is actually in use, or what is technically correct? In the latter case, I don’t think there is a singular form of “cattle” but “head of cattle” comes close. Check out this blog for an interesting take on your question:
Cow doesn’t just mean female, but a female that has given birth.Â A younger, less-experienced female is a heifer.
Cattlemen who are not dairymen, refer to an individual a a beef, a group as beeves. Dairymen refer to a herd of cattle as cows, but they generally are females that have come fresh.Â Males in the dairy breeds rarely see a birthday.
The word “cow” doesn’t necessarily mean bovine; it also is applied to bison, whales, and, I presume, other species.
Cattle can only be used in the plural and not in the singular: it is a plurale tantum. Thus one may refer to “three cattle” or “some cattle”, but not “one cattle”. No universally used singular form in modern English of “cattle” exists, other than the sex- and age-specific terms such as cow, bull, steer and heifer.
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