Difference Between Bull and Steer

Bull vs Steer

It could be easily confused about the meaning of the terms bull and steer for anyone who is unfamiliar with those. Even for a person who knows the meaning of these terms, the particular differences between bull and steer may not be familiar. Therefore, some more reading about those would improve the knowledge, and this article might be a considerable help for that. Although both bulls and steers are males, there are some significant differences between them.


The term bull commonly refers to the male cattle, to be more specific, they are non-castrated male animals. Usually, bulls are large and demonstrate a little aggression. They have prominent horns, massive bodies, and well-developed reproductive organs. Bulls are commonly kept for stud services, as well as for working, and sometimes for meat purposes. However, their most wanted male reproductive system has two testicles, fibro elastic penis, and accessory sex glands. The testicles are located like a pendulum, hanging between the two thighs. They are little vocal and become anxious or excited in front of females. When there is a female in heat, the male can detect it easily via sensing the pheromones and show the flehman reaction. Bulls are strong, and little difficult to control. Therefore, handlers put the bull in full restrain before using for work and other purposes. Putting a nose ring is usual for a bull as a mean of restraining it.


The term steer describes a castrated male calf raised for meat purposes. The castration is a measure of stopping the production of male hormones and pheromones, which could mainly reduce the reproductive activities, aggression, and injuries. Usually, they do not have testicles with them, as those are removed during the castration; therefore, the testosterone secretion is almost zero in their bodies. As they do not have much testosterone secretions in their bodies, steers are easy to handle and get works done without or with little restraining measures. Additionally, it is easy to manage steers with only a small cost, because of their less aggressiveness. Interestingly, they have some sense of sex can, which is useful to detect the females in heat, despite their infertility. All these facts would suggest anyone that steers play a very important and useful role in many human needs.

What is the difference between Bull and Steer?

• Bull is the fertile male adult but the steer is the castrated male calf.

• Usually, bull is the referred term for fertile adult male of many mammals including elephants and whales, whereas steer is mostly a cattle specific term.

• Anatomical difference is that the bull has testicles and but the steer does not. Therefore, it serves another difference between them; bull is sexually active, but steer is sexually neutral.

• Bull is slightly more aggressive than a steer. In fact, steers are easy to handle, but bulls need restraining.

• Bulls are reared for stud service, working, and meat purposes. However, steers are being used mainly for meat purposes.