A domestic bovine animal—sometimes used spec as a euphem for a bull.
1762 in 1883 Hess–Kelker Genealogical Recd. Koelliker 66 sePA, To Eight Head of Cow creatures—[₤] 12 [s.] 0 [d.] 0. 1853 Sunbury Gaz. (PA) 19 Nov 1/7, I asked him if he had a good shelter for his cattle, this cold weather. He said . . he did not much believe in keeping his “cow critters” too warm in winter. 1854 Muscatine Jrl. (IA) 27 Jan /1, You pay $20 for a good cow, and sell her here [=California] for $125. A good horse costs you $100, and you get $300 to $400—making considerable difference in favor of the cow critters. 1859 (1968) Bartlett Americanisms xxvi, The essentially English word bull is refined beyond the mountains, and perhaps elsewhere, into cow-creature, male-cow, and even gentle-man cow! 1865 Atlantic Mth. 15.671 CT, He knowed I was apt to buy cow-critters along in the spring. 1873 Carleton Farm Ballads 18 MI, And so that bowl kept pourin’ dissensions in our cup; / And so that blamed cow-critter was always a-comin’ up. 1887 Daily Yellowstone Jrl. (Miles City MT) [4 Feb 3]/3, A cow critter will scarcely ever succeeed in getting out of the drifted snow if unaided. 1890 AZ Daily Citizen (Tucson) 8 Sept 1/7, The Colonel believes the Herefords superior to all other beef breeds, and says that in a few years a cow critter without a white face will not be seen at the Sierra Bonita ranch. 1923 DN 5.204 swMO, Cow critter. . . Specifically, a bull, though the term may refer to any other member of the ox family. 1931 Randolph Ozarks 19, Me and Sis made two craps ’ith a yoke o’ cow-critters. 1939 LANE Map 190, (Bull) 1 inf, cwCT, Cow critter [heard chiefly or exclusively from women]. 1943 Council Grove Republican (KS) 5 Mar 4/2, The bill will permit a levying of a fee of 7 cents against each branded cow critter taken to any community sale or other place for sale. 1958 Newhall Signal & Saugus Enterprise (CA) 8 May 1/6, Traveling along Highway 138. . . Rodney T. Donelly of Gorman came upon the carcasses of two black angus cow critters which had been shot and then dragged under a fence up the the edge of the hghway. 1960 Wilson Coll. csKY, Cow critter. . . Any member of the cattle family—usually humorous. 1965 Will Okeechobee Boats 46 FL, The war had sort of disrupted his cattle raising on the Alafia River, but after hostilities was over he moved his cow critters south of the Caloosahatchee in 1870. 1989 Times–News (Twin Falls ID) 23 Nov sec A 4/5, [Letter:] If game herds are to be limited, maybe a general season for the public to hunt cow critters is in order. 2007 Jackson Hole News & Guide (Jackson WY) 31 Oct sec A 37/1, [Letter:] Why the cost of killing these animals [=coyotes] is higher than the market value of Jim Magagna’s sheep or Bill Budd’s cow critters.