The cost of a cow varies widely depending on its age, size, breed, and other factors. The cost of a cow can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
You may wonder which cow is the best for you if you are considering becoming a new proud cow owner. There are a few factors that will influence your decision, such as the purpose for which the cow will be used and the age of the cow. What is the cost of a cow?
Depending on the weight and age of the calf, the cost of a calf may range between $40 and $600. Depending on the cow’s weight, you may have to pay between $2,800 and $3,000 for a beef cow. A dairy cow can cost between $900 and $3,000, while a bull can cost up to $7,000.
Consequently, cows can be quite expensive, but how much should you expect to spend on a cow each year? Do you know which breed of beef cow is the best to purchase? Is there a particular breed of dairy cow that is the most suitable for purchase? Let’s take a closer look at this.
What is the cost of a cow?
In order to determine the price of a cow, several factors must be taken into consideration, including the gender of the cow, the cow’s weight, and the breed of the cow.
Additionally, the cost difference will be determined by the purpose of the cow; is it for beef production or dairy production?
Generally, yearling cows and cows sold in pairs, such as a mother and calf, are less expensive than full-grown cows or heifers without calves.
A slaughterhouse will also sell cheaper cows; however, this is risky, as they may have some underlying conditions that would be expensive to treat.
Generally, yearlings cost between $800 and $1500, slaughter cows weighing approximately 1,200 pounds cost about $600, and heifer and calf pairs are generally less expensive.
I would like to discuss the individual cow costs in more detail.
A Cow-Calf’s Value
In order to determine the cost of a calf, you must consider two factors: its size and its weight.
The care and attention required for a calf that is only one day old, for example, will be much greater. This is because the calf will require milk feeding every day from a bottle.
A calves that are this young will likely cost in the ballpark of $40 to $50, but this is because they have a high mortality rate when separated from their mothers.
In contrast, 4 to 6 month old calves are considered to be efficient and stable, therefore they tend to be more expensive.
It is typical for a yearling beef calf to cost approximately $650 to $750, while a yearling dairy calf will cost approximately $450 to $600.
In general, the older and more stable the calf is, the more expensive it will be.
A cow’s worth in terms of its meat
A beef heifer typically costs approximately $2,800 per cow, but they can range from $2,500 to $3000 per cow. Beef calves are generally priced according to their weight.
For the purpose of determining the price of a cow, cow owners use a unit called the CWT; this gives the price based on the weight of the cow, which is 100 pounds.
There is a standard rate of $135 to $165 per 100 pounds for beef cows, with an average rate of $140 per 100 pounds. With this pricing, a calf weighing about 500 pounds would cost approximately $700.
The cost of a bred heifer will be about $1,300, as they do not weigh that much as they are typically purchased when young. As they have been given more time to put on weight before you buy them, mature beef cows can cost around $4000 to $5000 per cow and can weigh up to 2,200 pounds, they will cost you approximately $4000 to $5000 per cow.
What a dairy cow is worth
The price of a dairy cow can vary from $900 to $3,000, depending on the price of a yearling compared to the price of a proven family cow.
Calf and yearling cows are generally less expensive than mature cows, as we discussed earlier.
Similarly, a dairy cow can be more expensive to purchase if it is bottle-fed or hand-raised, as they tend to be more friendly with people, and can therefore be kept with family members.
A friendly cow makes it easier to milk and handle, which is an advantage.
Dairy cows are typically priced based on their weight and the cost per pound ranges from $1.05 to $1.35.
In general, cows that have been bred are more expensive than heifers, and heifers can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000.
Lactating dairy cows cost between $1,500 and $2,100, as they are ready for production.
A Bull’s Worth
Bulls are priced according to their proven breeding ability as well as their bloodline. A bull that has a good bloodline and is an effective breeder will command a premium price, while a bull of lesser quality will cost less.
The slaughter of young bulls for meat is common because there is less demand for bulls than for cows.
Steers are male cows that have been neutered and are being raised for beef. Steers range in price depending on their weight.
There will be a cost per pound of $150 to $190 for a steer that weighs between 200 and 300 pounds. Alternatively, you can purchase a breeding bull with a good bloodline for $6,000 to $7,000.
How Do I Choose The Best Beef Cows?
It is the Black Angus cow that is the most popular breed of beef cow in the United States. This breed of cow requires a higher level of care and maintenance, especially during calving season.
In addition to these cows, there are a few others that will produce a good amount of meat, such as the following.
Hereford cows mature at an early age, and they have a high fattening ability as well. They tend to be quite docile animals, and they produce plenty of milk.
Compared to the Black Angus, the Charloais breed is heavier, and they have a thick coat in winter.
Despite their easy handling characteristics, Simmental cows are also good fatteners during the calving season.
Similar to Black Angus, Red Angus cows are docile and have good fat marbling in their meat.
How Do I Choose The Best Dairy Cows?
The following are some dairy cow breeds, which are excellent for keeping as dairy cows. While all female cows produce milk, some breeds tend to do it better than others.
As a great milk provider, Jersey cows are also more manageable than other cow breeds due to their smaller size.
Among the oldest dairy animals in the world, the Brown Swiss cow is a very gentle and docile animal.
This breed of cow is not only good for producing beef, but also for producing milk. Because they mature early, they are able to start producing milk much earlier than other breeds of cows.
What is the annual cost of the cow?
Feeding and caring for a cow will generally cost between $500 and $1,000 per year. Grass-feeding your cows can reduce this high cost; this will require approximately two to five acres of land per cow.
A minimum of 30 to 40 pounds of hay a day should be fed to cows that are being raised for meat; some cows may require up to 100 pounds of hay daily.
Depending on your grassland, you might be able to reduce the cost of feed to between $200 and $300 per year if you feed the cows grass.
There may also be some additional expenses required; these include vet bills, minerals, other supplements, halters, and other equipment; for dairy cows to produce milk, you will need to pay for them to be bred, oats, corn, barley, and any other food required to supplement their diet.
Buying a cow: Where to go
Several places can be explored when it comes to finding a cow for sale:
- Get in touch with your local 4H or FFA chapter
- Take a look at Craigslist
- Find local farming groups on Facebook
- If you are looking for a cow for sale in your area, check the feed store bulletin boards or ask the feed store clerk for information.
- A livestock auction should be attended
- If you are seeking a purebred, registered cow, you should contact a private breeder.
- Find out if there are any livestock rescue organizations in your area
You may have to spend thousands of dollars to purchase a cow, depending on its age, weight, and gender.