If you want to buy an animal you better go to someone you know and trust. But that is not always possible. Connoisseurs view and grip the beast, to know what kind of meat they have in the sandwich. That requires a lot of knowledge and experience.

Of course you pay attention to outward signs and condition. But there are many stories of horses that were painted. A vendor shows his animal looking as good as possible: washing, grooming, hooves shining and dyeing, dyeing udder, makeup..

tooth-chartThe age of a human is easier to estimate. We have a whole life experience. We daily see all kinds of copies of various ages, and have many comparison. And then there is still a big difference between races, gender, culture, food, wear (in several senses)...
Indications we get by length, size, wrinkles (without Botox or plastic surgery), hair color (unpainted), hair loss, more hair (ears, nose), earlobes and nose (cartilage continues to grow), posture, strength, sensitivity of senses, reaction speed, weight, (own and unbleached) teeth (teeth wear out, break, are yellower, get tartar (calculus hardened dental plaque)).
The latter goes for most mammals.

The age (and the life expectancy) of the animal is an important factor.
Teeth give for many species a good indication. They are used daily for up to 10 hours. An animal with bad teeth cannot eat properly and the condition will deteriorate.

In humans, this is true also. Following a toothless birth there first come (20) milk teeth, which later exchange for a permanent teeth (32 pieces). Each quadrant has in humans two incisors (front), 1 canine and 5 molars (grinders). At first two premolars (or first and second premolar) with a single nodule structure, and behind third molars or molars with a double knot structure.
The last four and posterior teeth are - if you get them, wisdom teeth.
The extent to which the teeth fully grow indicate the age again.
Later, the color and the amount of plaque on the enamel gives an idea of ​​the age.
And later you can see the wear marks and loss of teeth in a mouth that has served many years.

The dental formula is used to describe the composition of teeth. It is of the type: I | C | P | M, where I is the number of cutting teeth (Incisors) in a quadrant of teeth, C is the number canines (Canine), and for the grinders: P is the number of premolars and M is the number of molars.

People (and pigs) are omnivorous or eat every kind of food. The cattle that we breed is herbivore or plant eater, especially grazer, and therefor has also a custom denture. (They also have a long digestive system, there are ruminants amonst them, and cow even has four stomachs.)
Our cattle has 4 incisors (2 bottom, 2 top) and solid, crude molars to grind green. They do not have canine.
Our cattle do not even have upper teeth. They pull the grass with tongue and lower teeth.

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth

An adult horse has 36 (mare) to 40 (stallion) teeth.
Horse teeth continue to grow, and remain so the same lenghtas growth and wear balance each other.
The different teeth come in different ages, the milk teeth varies in stages, and the teeth become "filled". Only at the age of 10, 11 years changes are little in the horse teeth.
A foal of a year has all teeth, but the three molars missing.
Colt teeth are unlike adult teeth whiter, have a shovel shape and no clear grooves yet on the lips side of the tooth.
A newly coming in incisor has a cavity in the crown (the infundibulum or the crown cavity). Which fades by wear. Then the tooth is called ‘filled’.
When all positions are filled the horse has a full mouth. You will then see the dental star -the visible root cavity - becoming bigger due to wear.
Nutrition and the deviations can make it difficult to estimate. Only the stallion has hook teeth or canines. Each quadrant has 3 incisors, (1 canine at the stallion), four premolars and three molars.

Table for age estimation according teeth in the horse (M = molar, P = premolar)
From the middle incisors are called the inside, middle and outside tooth.



Additional features

Inside foal teeth come in

0-8 days

Deciduous molars present

Middle foal teeth come in

1 month


Outside foal teeth come in

6 months


Filling cups foal teeth

10-24 months


Inner colt teeth losing

2,5 year

P2 switched, M2 present

Inner teeth grown on

3 year

P3 changed

Middle foal teeth

3,5 year


Middle Teeth grown

4 year

P4 changed, M3 present

Outside foal teeth

4,5 year

Hook teeth come in

Outside Teeth grown

5 year


Inner teeth filled

6 year


Middle Teeth filled

7 year

Dental star appears

Outside Teeth filled

8 year


Upper inner teeth filled nine years

9 year

Teeth slowly more three angular

Upper - middle class filled

10 year

'hook' on upper outer tooth, groove

Upper - middle class filled

11 year

Galvayne visible

Inner dental crown cavity gone

13 year


Central Dental crown cavity gone

14 year


Outside Dental crown cavity gone

15 year

Incisors becoming rounder/year


Take the bull by the horns

Each year a dairy cow calves. Thus there go more calcium and other nutrients to the uterus and less to the horns. This creates a temporary narrowing of the horns. Each ring of the horns stands for a year that the cow was wearing a calf. You can estimate the age, so by the number of rings in the horns plus two years (before the first pregnancy).

Usually a calf at birth has eight milk teeth in the lower jaw. They stay until they are about one and a half years old. If the cow is two years old, she has two permanent teeth (the front two). At two and a half years they are joined by one on each side, a total of four. When she is three, she has six permanent teeth and at four years eight. Its permanent dentition is complete. At the top there are only molnars, no other teeth. Unlike a horse teeth, bovine incisors wear, so old cows have very short teeth.
Then the age determination becomes more difficult. The dentin is becoming more visible and teeth wear down more and more. There is also more space between the teeth.

Counting sheep or teeth

Sheep have 32 teeth. They have no canine and no upper incisors. Above and below they have 6 premolars and 6 molars, and only in the mandibular (lower cheek) 8 incisors. It allows them to cut grass and green as a clipper. On the upper jaw there is a paved dental pad, instead of incisors is this upper part of the mouth hardened. Sheep graze daily eight to ten hours. In addition, also the rumination needs (re) chewing.

Once in their lifetime sheep exchange their teeth. The first incisor (I1) changes around the fifteenth month, the 2nd (I2) at 21 months, (I3) on 30 months and 3 to 4 years for (I4).
The premolars exchange around the age of 18 to 24 months.
The molars in order come in around 3 to 4 months, 9 months and 18 to 24 months.
On old age a sheep loses his teeth so it cannot eat.

In a pig, the age estimation is done especially by weight. But there are many differences by type. Wait for slaughtering at least not until it gets gray hair.

They can also be seen sawn through and count the rings.
, 0
Fowl are ready for slaughter if they have no more teeth.

Estimating age of a chicken
Fold the wing open. Behind the outer primaries are the small (secondary) remiges. Count (from the trunk) how many small feathers are shorter than the rest, with the shaft more in the middle, and a rounded top. Of those there comes one more with each annual moult. Thus, this number corresponds to the age.
I do not know if this is really true, nor if it is true for other fowl.

Dog and cat

The permanent canines appear around the age of 5 months.
They have their permanent teeth from 6 to 7 months.
The wear on the tips of the teeth may say something about their age in older dogs. Around 18 months, the lower incisors begin already wearing away. From 3.5 years the upper incisors are starting to wear off.
For dogs and cats, the presence of tartar can also be informative about their age.