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If you own some farmland and are looking to add some cows to pasture, then you must have the correct information when it comes to pricing and what to expect. Cows are very useful on the farm, but they are not cheap. In this article, we will take a look at how much a cow costs. We will break things down into a couple of sections based on the type of cow to make it easier and quicker for those looking to get a specific price.
Buying a Calf
As is the case with most cows, the price you pay will depend on the animal’s weight. Yearling cows, for example will cost around $600-700, day-old calves will set you back around $40-50, but slightly older calves can set you back around $1000, so it does help to buy younger, but just remember that the younger you buy them at, the more help they are likely to need. In fact, up until four months of age, a baby calf will need to drink 8% of its bodyweight per day in milk. That’s a lot of milk because cows are not small animals.
Buying a Beef Cow
A good quality beef heifer or cow will set you back quite a lot. Most fully grown beef cows will weigh over 2,500 pounds and eat a LOT, so remember to factor that into the $3,500-$5000 initial price you are likely to pay. Beef heifers will usually cost around $2,500 to $3,000 per head.
Beef cows are priced based on weight, with the standard unit of measurement being CWT. It stands for 100 pounds. So if the CWT for a cow is about $135 to $165, you’ll pay around $750 for a 500-pound calf. Keep in mind that if a heifer has been bred, it will cost much more than a non-bred heifer.
Some bred heifers can cost up to $6000. Now, this price tends to be breed-dependent, but for the likes of a Hereford or Black Angus Heifer, expect to pay top dollar.
Buying a Dairy Cow
A dairy cow can cost between $900 to $3,000; this huge range in price depends on the price of a yearling compared to a proven family cow. A dairy cow can also be more expensive to buy if it was bottle-fed or hand-raised as they tend to be friendlier with people and can be kept around family.
This is an advantage as the friendlier the cow is, the easier it is to milk and handle. Similarly, lactating dairy cows will cost more to buy upfront because they are ready for production, so they will set you back at least $1,500 to begin with.
Where can I buy a Cow?
There are several places where cows can be bought (and sold). You just need to know where to look. Craigslist, local FFA groups, farming groups on social media, livestock auctions, private breeders, or livestock rescues are the most common places to find cows for sale.
When you buy a cow, it is not a simple one-time purchase; a lot of other things will need to be considered, namely grain, corn or other foods that cows eat, vet bills, minerals, equipment, and of course breeding costs. Cows eat around 25 pounds of dry hay per day, which including waste, can equate to about 35 pounds per day.
This means a lot of food and a lot of responsibility. If you need to buy hay for most of the year, it will cost you about $1,300-2,000 a year in feed. If you can grow your own feed or have enough land for the cow’s grazing needs, a cow will only cost you $200-300 a year.
How would I go about buying a cow?
Believe it or not, buying a cow is like any other purchase. You make a decision by getting feedback from friends and family, local experts, and the internet. Firstly, talk to family and friends to see if they have purchased a cow from a local farmer. You might be surprised.
Are cows expensive to buy?
It depends, but yes, a cow would be expensive to buy. However, if cared for/slaughtered and sold properly, then you could make a profit. A Wagyu cow in Australia once sold for over $1,000,000. I wonder if the buyer made a lot of profit there.
Are cows expensive to maintain?
Considering that cows need a lot of food daily, yes, it is safe to say that they are expensive to maintain.
What is the most profitable breed of cow to breed?
All USDA and University research has come to the same final conclusion: the most money is made with Angus or Angus cross cows bred to Limousin bulls. A cow herd places maximum emphasis on fertility and the early growth rate of the calves.
What are the most popular beef cattle breeds in the US?
Black Angus is the most common breed of beef cattle in the US, with more than 330,000 animals registered.