The average cow weighs anywhere from 900 to 1,600 pounds depending on age, breed and genetics. The heaviest cow breeds can weigh over 3,000 pounds. Full grown dairy cows weigh about 1,500 pounds. Full grown beef cattle average 1350 pounds. Newborn calves weigh in around 75 to 85 pounds. 

Knowing actual cow size is a critical first step in managing cow weight, he continues. While many ranchers don’t have access to a scale, Olson encourages getting a mature cow weight if at all possible. Looking at cull-cow weights, and adjusting that weight based on how those cows compared to a herd’s average, is another way ranchers can get a general idea of how big their cows are.

According to Ken Olson, a range beef calf/cow specialist at the South Dakota State University, the size of cow matters. The present age’s fed cattle (heifers and steers) are, as compared to 1990, larger at slaughter. On the feed, they spend eight more days. They gain weight 16% faster and they are more efficient. Though the weight gaining process is faster in livestock than it was twenty years back, the fat marbling and other characteristics are still the same.

How Much Does A Cow Weigh?

Beef cattle (raised for meat production primarily) and dairy cattle (raised for milk primarily) typically weigh differently, but even among the beef or dairy breeds we have huge differences.

I’ve used data from research and calculations on The Pennsylvania State University, North Dakota State University and Wikipedia itself to get the most accurate and recent data about cow weights (by age and by gender).

How Much Does A Beef Cow Weigh?

A typical beef cow such as Angus, weigh around 1210 lbs (550kb) for a mature female, and around 1870 lbs (850 kg) for bulls (on average). For a typical herd, this is not a very useful answer because the herd may consist of a variety of cows by age and breed.

Cow weight will greatly vary based on many factors.

Angus beef cow will be about 450-550 pounds when 6 months old, while a mature heifer could weigh anywhere between 800 and 1400 pounds. Heifer growth is usually compared to breed standards to determine normal progress. Here is a list of average weight of beef cows by breed (female):

  • Angus – 1,210 pounds (550 kg)
  • Hereford – 1,200 pounds (544 kg)
  • Limousin – 1,650 pounds (750 kg)
  • Brahman – 1,320 pounds (600 kg)
  • Simmental – 1,300 pounds (590 kg)
  • Shorthorn – 1,760 pounds (800 kg)

How Much Does Angus Beef Cow Weigh?

German Angus cows are another breed of cattle that originated in Germany. Mature bulls can reach a weight of 2,200 to 2,400 pounds. Female cows range from 1,200 to 1,500 pounds. German Angus cows are known for their beef. I personally breed mostly black angus cows, although I have never had a German Angus cow before. 

How Much Does A Calf Weigh?

A calf is a young domestic cattle, and their weight quickly grows every month. Calf at birth will weigh about 82 pounds. A commercial steer (bull calf) is expected to put on about 71 to 79 lbs (32-36kg) per month, while a heifer puts on less, depending on the breed.

I’ve looked more closely into dairy cow heifer weights by age, and got the data from PennState Uni on heifer growth and the average and recommended weights of the most popular dairy cow breeds in the US.

How Much Does A Cow Weigh When Butchered?

For commercial productions, cows weigh usually 900 to 1,350 pounds at slaughter. The average cattle weight at slaughter will depend on customer demands, which determine the age range and weight of cattle. For example, Angus beef cattle weigh around 1,200 pounds at slaughter, with a carcass weight of 750 pounds (hanging weight, “on the rail”).

However, cattle have variations in body size, and customer demands are always different. Some want meat from younger cows, as it is generally more tender, and some want veal meat, which is a meat from a calf that is 6 months or younger. Average cow weight at slaughter can therefore be on any point of the spectrum of this range of weights.

How Much Meat Do You Get From A Cow?

According to South Dakota State University Extension, the expected yield for retail cuts from beef carcasses ranges from 55% to 75%, depending on the fatness, muscling of the animal, and the type of cuts you produce. The carcass weight is usually between 600 and 900 pounds.

Steaks usually come from a steer (castrated male) or a heifer (female that hasn’t been bred), while meat from cows is usually ground up into processed meats. The US beef industry is focused mostly on producing steers for meat consumption.

Dairy cows are better utilized on producing milk, and because of their inability to dress out nicely (give large quantities of quality meat), cow is graded low by the USDA and normally goes to auction and slaughter for processed meat.

How To Weigh A Cow

Measuring a cows weight is most easily done using a livestock scale. Since the majority of livestock owners are not commercial owners, we probably do not own a scale. I myself do not own a livestock scale. So unless you know someone that does, you will have to use the cows body measurements to calculate the approximate weight. Here’s how it’s done.

  • Step 1 – Measure the cow’s heart girth. 
  • Step 2 – Measure the cow’s length.
  • Step 3 – Multiple girth x girth x length / 300 = Weight

How Much Do Cows Cost?

The cost of a cow is mainly determined by the weight of the cow. Beef cattle typically sell for $140 per 100 pounds of weight. For example, a 700 pound cow would cost about $980. Dairy cattle that are sold by weight cost on average $1.20 per pound, meaning a 700 pound dairy cow would cost $840

How Tall Does A Cow Get?

The average cow can reach a height of about 4’ to 4’ 11’’. This is determined by the breed of the cow and their age. The tallest cow breeds can reach heights of over 5’ and up to 5’ 11’’ tall.

Leave a Reply

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: