Even though all cows are large, the exact weight differs from cow to cow, herd to herd, and breed to breed. Because of this fact, there is no one size fits all answer to how much a cow weighs. Instead, you will want to look at the age of the cow, its breed, and its gender. Only by looking at many factors will you get a good estimation of how much a particular cow may weigh.

Cattle have variations in body weight and size just like any other living creature. You also have customer demand to contend with. Different customers prefer cattle in certain weight ranges It’s referred to as target weight, because younger animals typically produce more tender meat. This determines the age range and weight at slaughter. There is also demand for veal which is meat from a calf usually less than six months old. Oddly enough, while veal is considered beef, it is usually produced from male dairy cattle although with veal, breed and sex are unimportant. While veal is generally more expensive than beef, the male dairy cattle from which it is commonly produced are actually considered surplus animals. As males they can’t produce milk and as dairy cattle, they will never become large enough to be worthwhile for beef production.

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. 

How Much Does A Cow Weigh?

Unfortunately, there is no one answer about how much a cow weighs. Several factors will impact the weight of a cow, such as its breed, age, and gender. As a result, there is a wide range of weights for cows, even cows within the same herd.

For example, the heaviest cow is the Chianina breed, and they are typically around 3,500 pounds. In comparison, the smallest cow in the world is only 20 inches tall and weighs only 57 pounds. Needless to say, cows vary greatly in size and weight.

Still, we can give averages. The average weight of an adult bull is 2,400 pounds, while the average weight for an adult cow is 1,600 pounds. These numbers are just averages, but they do show the differences in weight between gender.

Factors That Impact A Cow’s Weight

As mentioned above, many factors impact a cow’s weight. The most obvious include breed, gender, and age. Beyond that, food sources and individual genetics impact the weight too, which explains why cows of the same age and herd can have wildly different weights.

The most important factors to consider when looking at a cow’s weight include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Breed
  • Location
  • Food sources and nutrition
  • Individual traits

Because all these factors impact a cow’s weight, the weights we provide below are averages. What this means is that the weights provided are only estimations. Although these weights give a good idea about the weight of cows, they should not be viewed as concrete proof about how heavy a cow should be.

How Much Does A Calf Weigh?

A calf is a cow or bull that is not yet a year old. Because these cows are so young, they are much smaller and weigh less than their adult counterparts.

At birth, most calves weigh around 82 pounds. Within the first month of life, you can expect bull calves to gain a little less than 80 pounds. Heifers put on a little less weight but still put on quite a bit during the same amount of time. As they continue to grow, they put on more and more weight. Calves can end up gaining hundreds of pounds within the first year of life.

The calf breed can largely impact how much the calf weighs upon birth and how much they put on during the first year of life. For example, a Jersey calf may weigh as little as 93 pounds during its first month in life, while a Brown Swiss can weigh as much as 163 pounds.

How Much Does A Beef Cow Weigh?

In comparison to calves, beef cows weigh a lot more. In fact, many beef cows are used for beef specifically because they are very large and offer more meat. Consequently, even beef cow calves weigh more than some of the breeds mentioned above.

One of the most popular beef cows is the Angus cow. When the Angus beef cow is only six months old, it often weighs between 450 and 550 pounds. Mature heifers often grow to be between 800 and 1,400 pounds. Other beef cows, such as the Shorthorn, are even heavier than the Angus.

Likewise, the weight of male beef cows is a lot higher than the female counterparts. Whereas mature Angus heifers are often 1,400 pounds max, Angus males are on average 1,870 pounds. Meanwhile, the Shorthorn males average out at 2,100 pounds.

How Much Does A Beef Cow Weigh At Slaughter?

At slaughter, most cows weigh between 900 and 1,350 pounds, but the exact weight depends on the customer’s demands.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all cows are slaughtered at maturity. Some clients prefer more tender meat, which is most likely taken from calves. As a result, calves that are slaughtered will weigh much less than mature cows that are slaughtered.

Note that the amount of flesh used for food is not equal to the overall weight of the cow. Instead, only about 65% of the carcass weight is used for food. Let’s take an example. Let’s assume that an Angus female is slaughtered at 1,200 pounds. It is most likely that the hanging carcass weight will only be about 750 pounds.

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.

How Many Steaks In A Cow?

Once again, for those unfamiliar, steaks generally come from steer (male cows) while the meat from female cows is generally ground up and considered lower grade.

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