Once afternoon I was out in my pasture tending to the cattle and just starting guessing about how much each cow weighed. I’ve never really weighed them but thought it would be nice to know how much each cow weighed. So I did a little research. 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.
Cows, cattle, livestock, whichever name you choose to call them, are big animals! As a homesteader, it is essential to provide fresh dairy, eggs, and meat for your family to live comfortably daily. This means raising enough livestock to produce what you need in your backyard to be self-sufficient.
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).
I’ve used this data to put together tables of weights for heifers (female calves) by month, and some data on the major breeds in the US and their average weights.
Herders always weigh a cow at weaning, which is the time when a calf is separated from the mother. Ideally, this is at 7-8 months old. Cows continue gaining weight until they reach 7 years of age, then they slowly lose weight until they leave the herd.
The weight of a cow depends mostly on these factors:
- nutritional history
- 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.
What Is The Average Weight Of A Cow At Slaughter?
According to Ken Olson, the cattle today at slaughter (heifers and steers) are about 14 percent larger as compared to the cattle in 1990. As they gain weight faster, spend more days on feed, and are more efficient.
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 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.
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.