Dairy cattle are cattle cows bred for the ability to produce large quantities of milk, from which dairy products are made. Dairy cows generally are of the species Bos taurus.
Historically, there was little distinction between dairy cattle and beef cattle, with the same stock often being used for both meat and milk production. Today, the bovine industry is more specialized and most dairy cattle have been bred to produce large volumes of milk. The United States dairy herd produced 83.9 billion kg of milk in 2007, up from 52.6 billion kg in 1950., Yet there are more than 9 million cows on U.S. dairy farms—about 13 million fewer than there were in 1950.
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