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
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.
Full-grown cows can range in weight from around 1102 pounds (500kgs) to 2645 pounds (1200kgs) for large cows and around 800 pounds (360kgs) for mini cows. Bulls and cows have different weights, depending on the breed and what purpose they have been bred for.
Bigger Cows, More Feed
“So, cows have gotten bigger, and we’ve documented how much bigger, and we want to stay in that 1,200-1,400 lb. range. That’s where management comes into play in terms of a producer deciding where his perfect range is, where he wants to be within that range, and what would provide acceptable carcass sizes,” Olson notes.
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.
“Of course, bigger cows need more nutrients. The neat thing is nutrient requirements don’t go up in direct proportion to the size of the cow. They actually go up at a ¾ powers ratio, or 75%, not one to one. So, the maintenance energy required by the 1,400-lb. cow is about 11% higher than that required by the 1,200-lb. cow, despite the fact that she is about 16% heavier,” Olson explains.
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:
- Food sources and nutrition
- Individual traits
How Much Does A Beef Cow Weigh?
A typical beef cow such as Angus weighs 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 the 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 A Dairy Cow Weigh?
Depending on the breed, a full mature Holstein dairy cow weighs around 1,500 lbs (700 kg) on average, a mature Ayrshire weighs around 990 to 1,320 lbs, while the Jersey breed (being among the smallest of the dairy breeds) weighs around 900 lbs (410kg) on average.
These are all (naturally) female cow weight examples, while the males usually weigh more.
Here is a list of the average weights of dairy cows by breed – female:
- Holstein-Friesian – 1,600 pounds (725 kg)
- Ayrshire – 1,150 pounds (522 kg)
- Jersey – 900 pounds (408 kg)
- Brown Swiss – 1,350 pounds (612 kg)
- Guernsey – 1,050 pounds (476 kg)
- Dairy Shorthorn – 1,450 pounds (658 kg)
How Much Does A Calf Weigh?
A calf is a young domestic cattle, and its weight quickly grows every month.
The 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.
What Is The Average Hanging Weight Of A Cow?
An average cow weights around/about 1,200 lbs and it has a hanging hot carcass weight of about 750 pounds.
What Is The Average Weight Of A Beef Cow?
A steer weighing around 1,000 lbs i.e. 450 kg provides a carcass that weighs around 615 lbs i.e. 280 kg after the head, blood, feet, guts, skin, and offal are removed from it. It is then hanged in a cold room for one – four weeks and during this time it loses some more weight as the waster dries out from the meat. After this whole process, the carcass will weigh around 430 lb i.e. 200 kg.
What Is The Average Hanging Weight Of A Cow?
An average cow weighs around 1,200 lbs. It has an (HCW) hanging hot carcass weight of around 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.