Grenouille: "I cannot go with you to the market today, Crapaud."
Crapaud: "But Grenouille, I cannot carry the cow alone."
Grenouille: "You know, Crapaud, that I am to be Keeper this morning. Who will stop the Quaffle if I do not?"
— Extract from Hélas, Je me suis Transfiguré Les Pieds[src]

Cattle — commonly referred to as cows — are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates and are domestically raised as livestock for meat, dairy animals for milk and other dairy products, and as draft animals used in drawing heavy loads. The term cow technically refers to the female of the species while bull refers to the intact male. Either gender can be horned depending on the subspecies or breed.


During a duelling competition in 1379, a wizard transformed himself into a bull, but was defeated by another wizard, who changed himself into a viper and bit the first wizard, thereby causing the bull-wizard to lose.

A cow was mentioned in the famous French play Hélas, Je me suis Transfiguré Les Pieds by the French wizard Malecrit. In the play, the character Grenouille says to the character Crapaud that he cannot help him as he is to play Keeper in an upcoming Quidditch match that same day.[1]

The Hogwarts Express passes fields full of cows during its trip from London to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.[2]

In 1995 Rubeus Hagrid brought half a dead cow to feed to the Hogwarts Thestral herd during his Care of Magical Creatures class.[3]

Dragons such as the Peruvian Vipertooth have been known to feed on cows, and Hebridean Blacks have been known to carry off cattle.[4]

Behind the scenes

  • If a wizard completely transfigures himself into an animal, he starts thinking like the animal. It is likely that another wizard had to untransfigure him.
  • In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7, a bull was used to scare the Gringotts dragon instead of the Clankers.


Notes and references

  1. Quidditch Through the Ages
  2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 6 (The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters)
  3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 21 (The Eye of the Snake)
  4. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
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