Sources : Cow

Bartholomaeus Anglicus [13th century CE] (Liber de proprietatibus rerum, Book18.108-110): [Book 18.108] The Cowe is called Vacca, and hath that name, as it were Boacta, as Isidore saith libro. 12. And is an incresing beast: for Aristotle saieth libro. 6. The Cowe is moved to the deede of kind after one yeare, and perchaunce after eight months, and the Cowe goeth with calfe nine months, and calveth in the tenthe month. If they range without a Heard, they wexe wilde, so that Heardes maye not tame them: and the desire of Kine is knowen, by swellyng of the twists, and by their continuall lowing: for Kine lowe when they be a Bulling, and leape on Buls and follow them, & stand with them. Also in codem he sayth in ye end: Men meane, that a Cow goeth ten moneths, & if the calveth before that time, the Calfe liveth not, nor his clées be not full complete, and commonly she calveth one Calfe, and perchaunce twaine: and the female lyveth commonly xv. yeares, and the males also: and when they bee gelded they be the more strong, and may live xx. yeare. And the Cowe hath good milke after the calving, and no milk before, and if they have any milke it is litle worth, or nothing of value: and when a Cowes milke is first crudded, it is made as it were tough, and that falleth, when it is medled with waters and a yeareling Cow commeth seldome with a Bull: and when the Kine toe often calve and have many Calves, it is a token as men meane, that in winter shall be much raine: and Kine lyve in companye, and be ofte lost, if they goe out of companye, for then wilde beasts eate them. Also among all beasts, the males have more stronger and greater voyce, except Kine, that have more greater voyce than Bulls. Also he saith, that ye Cow hath more stronger hornes, and more knottie than the male, but they are not so great: But and they be heated, they maye be bowed toward each side, and when they have sore féete, it is medicine therefore to annoynt them betweene the hornes with oyle and pitch, and other medicines. Also he saith, that Kine love to drink cléere water, and drinke uneth or never, troubly water & thicke: and have the Podagre, and die of that evill, and the token thereof is, when they beare downe their eares and eate not, as he saith. The fat Cowe shunneth the yoake, that she was used to beate last, or she was fat: she lyeth in hir owne dirte, & wexeth fat, and the more she is forborne and spared of travaile, the more slow she is: and when she is stong with a great flie, then she reeseth up hir taile in a wonderfull wise, & stertleth, as she wer mad, about fields and plaines. [Book 18.109] [In this chapter on the "wild cow" (Vacca agresti), Bartholomaeus may be referring to the bonnacon.] Sometime a Cowe is wilde. Of such a Cowe Avicen[na] speaketh and Arist[otle] also and say: that in the lande of Parthia is a Cow, that hath haire in hir necke as an Horse, & is of the quantitie of an Hart, therefore many men call that Cow, Equicervus and such a cow is without horns, & dwelleth in mountaines and in woodes, and hath faire eyen and is sharpe of sight. And somtime such a Cow hath hornes, but they be litle, as the hornes of an Hart calfe, and bend backward, as the horns of a Goat bucke: and in hir heart is a bone found as in the hart of an Hart, and that bone, when the bloud warmeth, tickeling moveth the sinewes and substaunce of the heart, and is the cause of moving a beast to joye and to lyking: and so by suche tickeling areareth sodainly the head, and leapeth swiftly, and startleth about. Also li. 8. Arist[otle] saith, that beasts yt maye not have helpe of hornes, have other maner helpe and succour of kind, and kind giveth switnesse to Harts and to wilde Kine that have crooked hornes, and may not for greatnesse defend all the bodye, and therefore kinde giveth another help to the wild Cow that helpeth hir greatly, casting of dirte, with the which shée noyeth hounds that come nigh hir. Also other hounds that finde such dirte, occupie them about the smell thereof, untill the beast that may not fight, is fled and scaped perill. Heereof looke before in littera B. de Bove and Bubalo, yt is a wild beast. [Book 18.110] A Calfe is called Vitulus, and hath that name of Virore aetatis, springing of age, as Isi[dore] saith lib. 12. For when he is calved, anone he riseth by his own vertue, and seeketh the Cowes udder, & sucketh anone, and he is licked with the Cowes tongue, & cleansed of all manner filth that commeth with him out of hir wombe. And the Calfe when he is calved hath a certaine blacke specke in the forhead, and Witches meane, that that specke or whelke exciteth love, but the Cowe biteth away this specke out of the Calves forhead, and receiveth him not to hir teates, ere the foresayd venime be taken off and done away. And Ari[stotle] saieth the same of the Mare, & of hir colte, and Avicen[na] also. Looke before in litera E. de Equa. The Calfe loveth his dam, and knoweth hir lowing, and followeth hir, and busheth with his forhead ye udder that he sucketh, and getteth so the more milke of his dam. And when he is full, and hath wel sucked, then he is merie and glad, and leapeth and startleth leaping about: and goeth not out of his dams foores. Also lib. 8. Arist[otle] saith, that Calves be gelded after one yeare, and if they be not gelded, then they shall be little of body: and a Calfe is gelded in this manner. He is throwen downe to the ground, and the skinne is cut and slit, & the gendring stones be cut out, and the strings thereof be areared upwarde, and the sinewes also, & the carving is bound untill that the bloud passe out: and somtime there gendereth a postume in that place, and then they burne that one gendring stone that is cut off, and put the pouder thereof uppon the postume, and so the place is saved. [Barthlomeaus concludes this chapter with a description of the "sea calf"; this desription has been moved to the account of the seal.] - [Batman]