Everything you need to know about...
Docile bovine creatures bred for milk and meat.
Adult Female: Cow
Adult Male: Bull
Rattle Cattle are massive, docile herbivorous creature that can be found in any environment that offers enough grass for it to consume and survive. There have even been recorded sightings of wild rattle cattle swimming in shallow waters and eating seagrass if it isn’t too far below the surface. They are also not deterred by cold, and often use their large claws to tear into trees, eating the sap to help then survive in winter months when they cannot find grass beneath the ice and snow. They have been known to also eat sap in warmer months, often making their herds attract bugs and smaller creatures alike that want to dine on high-calorie sap as well.
Wild or feral rattle cattle tend to live in groups of 2-6 adults along with their calves. Typically, these groups only have one adult male, who serves both as protector of the herd and stud. The actual leader of these small herds is usually the eldest female, who guides her extended family along a remembered route where food and water have been found in prior years.
Bulls use their thick, plated quills as colorful attraction for females, loud deterrents to predators, and a noisey means of keeping the herd always aware of where the bull is, and if danger is near. If a bull rattles, all females and calves know to hurry and group up near him, a trait most wyngrew rattle cattle herders use to their full advantage when herding their cattle.
Rattle cows generally give birth to a single calf once every two years. This species is also quite long-living, and most individuals who aren’t slaughtered for meat in their second year of life live to be healthy and happy well in their 50s.
Calves take four years to grow into their full size, and to reach sexual maturity.
Because of their size and many impressive defenses, healthy adult rattle cattle don’t often have to worry about natural predators. Their calves, however, are often a target of natural predators due to their lack of rattles or spines, and much ‘smaller’ size.
In Wyngro Society
Rattle cattle are a staple domestic animal in most wyngrew societies due to their naturally docile temperaments and ability to protect themselves in almost any environment. Though due to their size and need for large amounts of food, this animal is generally only kept by large, well-established farms with lots of grassland for rattle cattle to graze on, along with a few healthy trees for the cattle to suck sap from.
These large creatures are often considered quite intelligent, being able to learn simple commands (though their thoroughly lax nature doesn’t always mean they’ll listen if they aren’t in the mood to move). Farmers are required to begin training their cattle from a young age, otherwise once the calf grows up to be a fully mature adult size in four years, it won’t listen. And a disobedient giant (even a gentle one) can be quite the annoyance and hazard on any farm.
Cows, after calving, will produce rich, fatty milk for roughly two years before needing to calf again as calves generally need to nurse for around a year naturally before being weaned.
Cows are usually milked by wyngrew and the calves are bottle fed to help establish connection with wyngrew, making them tamer later in life, and easier to herd and manage.
They are milked long after the calf is done nursing so that the Cow continues to produce milk for the consumption of wyngrew. (They are often milked in between calf feedings as well, since a cow can easily produce more than enough milk)
This is a delicate practice, however, as some farmers have been accused of “over milking” their cows.
A bull’s rattles naturally shed seasonally, and are considered as a valuable trinket! Unfortunately most farms can only afford to keep one or two bulls at most, do to full grown rattle cattle males having a low tolerance for one another, so rattles are quite a costly item to buy.
Some of the richest districts in Antova are rumored feature homes that use these rattles as decorative roof tiling, but the rattles are more commonly used as small arms shields for bipeds, or decorative serving platters for food. They are also commonly made into maraca-like instruments!
Farmers sometimes need to be careful about thieves snooping into their farms at night, looking for discarded rattles. (As this is a big part of how they make their profit)
It’s a well known fact rattle cattle snoots are extremely soft, and great for petting! These large creatures are quite happy to get attention and love from the wyngrew they interact with (when they’re not busy eating grass or hay), and calves can be quite demanding in getting nose pets.
Rattle cattle tails are their primary defense against bugs and anything unknown approaching from the rear, approach with caution unless you want to get tail-whipped! (They’re stronger than they look!)
When slaughtered, more colorful Rattlecattle fur coats are often made into winter-wear, while the leftover skin is stripped down to dry into leather.
Rattle cattle are not only useful for milk and meat, but also in transporting goods from one location to another. Especially things that are significantly heavy. While they are very rarely ridden by wyngrew, (females especially are too dangerous to ride, due to their quills) they make a great draft animal by lugging around carts and helping farmers seed large areas!
They can be used to carry carriages great distances, but it’s not as preferred as other animals, as the cattle are generally slower and need breaks more often. Farmers also prefer not to take them away from their herds for too long as well, as they share very strong family dynamics that can disrupt an otherwise peaceful herd.
Wyngrew often do not go hunting rattle cattle, but every few years or so hunting season does arrive in smaller towns, such as Wynsiph. During this time, bulls can be exclusively hunted.
However, there are very strict rules concerning hunting, and the license to hunt them can be expensive for a hunting season that can likely become unsuccessful if a wyngro is not very skilled in hunting.
Wyngrew don’t have guns, so hunts are a very slow process, using traps and sharp harpoons.
Wyngrew are not allowed to hunt bulls that are clearly part of a herd. Only the lone bulls that were unsuccessful of winning a female and producing their own herd, as these bulls will likely die off without reproducing anyways.
Wyngrew are also limited on the amount of rattle cattle they can hunt in one season, and are required to log their successful hunts with the mayor in town hall so the town can log the population and keep it balanced.
Wyngrew found hunting/killing Rattle Cattle without a license or incorrectly could be thrown in jail and fined.
Although the spoils are very good if a wyngro successfully kills a bull and brings it back to town, this is often a fruitless endeavor for the price you need to pay, and often very dangerous as well! (A job left for the fastest, beefiest wyngrew!) Scrawny bipedals are not great candidates for hunting and often mocked if they try.