Cow Lifespan: How Long Do Different Breeds of Cows Live?

Cows are one of the most popular livestock animals on the planet. They provide us with food, clothing, and entertainment. But how long do cows live? Contrary to what you might think, cows actually have a very interesting life cycle that includes many different stages throughout their lives. If you want to know how long do cows live or how old does a cow gets before it dies, then read this blog post!

The average life expectancy of a cow

Cows are very interesting animals, and how long do cows live is one of the most important questions to answer when it comes to cow care. How long does a cow lives really depends on how you define “long” because there are many factors that come into play to

 calculate its average lifespan.

Cows age differently than we do. If your cow lived past their prime, then that would also affect how old do cows become in general because most farmers sell calves for beef at an early stage of life or dairy cattle once they stop producing enough milk to make money off of them anymore.

Since there are many factors involved in the life expectancy of cows, how old a cow can get before it dies is something that varies depending on how you care for them and how long they were able to survive in your barn.

How Long Do Cows Live? If You Keep Them Healthy Enough To Produce Milk!

If you are wondering how long do cows live, then the answer depends on what type of cow lifespan we’re talking about – calf lifespan or general bovine lifespan?

A healthy young dairy cow can easily last until its third birthday when they will be considered adults (sometimes even older), but their milk production slows down after this point, so farmers usually sell these cattle at an auction where people come from all over to buy new calves.

Once a cow stops producing milk, they are considered “spent” and will either be given to another farmer who keeps older cows for beef or let go off somewhere where there’s plenty of grass so that it can live out its days the way nature intended.

Cows in their prime age anywhere from five years old up until twelve depending on how well you take care of them and if they have any diseases – usually these animals last until about seven before dying, but this is something we see less often because most dairy cattle don’t make it past their third birthday when farmers sell them at auction.

However, not everyone sells young dairy cows at an early stage of life since some cow owners love their cattle so much that they keep them around for longer than necessary, which would mean cow lifespan can last up to twenty years when you consider adult bovines.

A cow’s average lifespan is 25 years, but this varies depending on what type of cow lifespan we’re talking about – calf lifespan or general cow longevity depends largely on its diet and if there are any health problems involved in your herd’s growth cycle.

Calf lifespans depend very little upon age because most calves die before reaching two weeks old due to disease or malnutrition, which means “the average lifespan of a cow” really has no effect whatsoever on their young life expectancy!

However, dairy cow lifetime might be slightly different because these cows can live up until they are twelve years old, but cow lifespan for adult cattle starts at about age five and ends around age 20, which means that the average cow lifespan is approximately 25 years.

How long do cows live before slaughter?

In the cow industry, a cow will be slaughtered when it’s around five years old. These cows are called ‘milk’ cows, and they have been genetically selected to produce an optimal amount of milk over their lifetimes.

When a cow is no longer productive in terms of producing milk or breeding offspring that meet farmer expectations, then she may go into a beef herd where she’ll remain until slaughter at roughly six years old. Cattle breeds noted for high meat production would fall under this category.

Though both genders enter the beef supply chain once they’re done with milk production, only steers (castrated male calves) end up on your dinner table; heifers (un-castrated female calves) are raised to replace older cow numbers in the herd.

The beef cow-calf sector is a major agricultural subsector, which means that there’s no one average age for the slaughter of their animals. More than half of all cow meat comes from cattle between two and three years old; however, this percentage varies across countries due to factors like economic influences on farmer decisions about when to sell or kill cows as well as how they market their products (i.e., live vs. processed).

Can cows live for 100 years?

Cows have a shorter lifespan than humans. Most cow breeds only live for 15 to 20 years, but larger cow breeds can live up to 25 years of age. But cows are not the longest living mammals in the world – dolphins and whales outlive cows by at least 30 years!

When it comes to cow lifespan, there is another factor that also plays an important role: breeding or domestication status. Some wild cow species like Bantengs (Bos javanicus) even lived over 35 years old in captivity! That makes them one of the longest living bovids on Earth! But they cannot live for more than 35 years and eventually get slaughtered or die of natural reasons.

Dairy Cows Lifespan

The lifespan of a cow varies from breed to breed. In general, dairy cows live between 15 and 20 years on average. A cow’s lifespan also depends upon the number of calves they have in their lifetime, as well as if they are bred naturally or artificially.


 breeds often range somewhere around 16 to 18 years.

Most dairy cow breeds can live up to 20 years, although some may live longer. It depends upon the cow’s lifestyle and environment as well as its breed.

A cow that is bred naturally will likely have a longer lifespan than one who has been artificially impregnated over time due to wear on her body from birthing numerous calves.

Miniature Cow Lifespan

Miniature cow breeds are considered to be domesticated cow species, which means that they won’t live for more than 25 years. But there is one exception: the African Pygmy cow (also known as West African Dwarf cow), a miniature breed of cattle originating in Africa, can live up to 31 years! This makes them the longest living cow breed on Earth and also explains why some dairy farmers still have cows working well at their farms even though they’re over 30 years old because African pygmies are great workers!

Highland Cows Lifespan

Highland cow breeds are also considered to be domesticated cow species. Highland cows can live up to 25 years, but there’s a chance that some of them die younger due to being killed by predators or other natural causes before they reach their full lifespan potential.

But the world record for cow lifespan goes not to a miniature cow nor a highland cow – it goes instead to Chianina and Tarentaise, two famous Italian cow breeds! So far, there have been cases where individual cows from both breeds lived for longer than 40 years!

Jersey Cow Lifespan

Jersey cow lifespan is typically between 15 and 18 years on average. However, some Jersey cow lifespans have reached 20 to 25 years of age. There are various factors that contribute to how long a cow lives, which include genetics, breed type, health status at birth or pre-weaning stage if the cow was raised by its mother cow before being weaned off milk replacement formula. Cows can also die prematurely due to illness even though they may be able to live past their expected lifespan otherwise.

Angus Cows Lifespan

The cow lifespan of an Angus cow is typically between 14 to 18 years on average. Like Jersey cows, Angus cow lifespans can also reach 20 to 25 years depending on their genetics and health status at birth or pre-weaning stage.

New Zealand Cow Lifespan

A New Zealand cow’s lifespan is typically between 13 to 16 years. The reason for this shorter life expectancy compared to other breeds is because most herds are comprised mainly of crossbreeds originating from different cattle species (which means that they don’t have purebred parents).

Furthermore, many New Zealand dairy cows are slaughtered within three to four years after calving due to the rapid depletion of cow’s milk, which means that a cow can give birth to at least one calf in her lifetime.

Swiss Brown Cow Lifespan

Swiss Brown cow lifespan is typically between 15 to 18 years on average. But like other cow breeds mentioned above, Swiss brown cows may also live well beyond 20 years if their genetics and health status are good from the start or pre-weaning stage. In addition, they have been bred over time for longevity as part of the process involved with selective breeding, so it’s not surprising why some specimens still survive until the approximately 25+-year-old mark!


Cow lifespans greatly depend on their breed, cow’s lifestyle, and conditions they are living in or raised under as well as health status at birth or during the pre-weaning stage.

Cows that live to be more than 20 years old happen very rarely, but there have been cases where cows lived for over 30 years! Cows usually die prematurely due to illness, even though some may meet their full potential life expectancy, which is anywhere from 15 up to 25 years, depending on cow breeds and genetics. In general, dairy cow breeds can live between 15 and 18 years, while miniature cow breeds will typically only survive until around 25 years. Highland cow lifespans are also within those same ranges, with the exceptions of some cow breeds living past 20 years. Angus cow lifespan is usually around 14 to 18 years on average, with the exceptions of cows dying prematurely due to illness or meeting their full life expectancy, which can be anywhere from 15 up to 25 years depending on genetics and breed type.

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