Beside cattle production being the most important agricultural industry in the United States, the country is also the largest consumer of beef in the world. So, raising cows is one sought-after business and can be very lucrative at that. Whether you intend to do it for beef or dairy production, it is important to consider how much does a cow cost?
Average Cost of Cows
Knowing how much a cow weighs is just as important in this business. This is because the price mainly depends on the size and weight of the cattle if you are trying to understand profitability in the cattle industry.
Below are the average costs of a cow per 100 pounds:
- Slaughter cows that weigh 1,200 pounds typically cost $50 per 100 pounds.
- Steers that weigh 550 pounds typically cost $145 per 100 pounds.
- Heifers that weigh 520 pounds typically cost $130 per 100 pounds.
With this, the average cost ranges from $600 to $800, and the expected revenue per cow is around $623.
Yearlings are usually priced between $800 and $1,500. Whether the purpose is for beef or dairy, it will typically spell the difference in this pricing.
According to Cattle.com, the current prices for a 750-lb. steer per state are as follows:
- Alabama – $891
- Georgia – $875
- Indiana – $953
- Kansas – $1,055
- Mississippi – $852
- New York – $853
- North Dakota – $1,058
- Pennsylvania – $1,069
- South Carolina – $851
- Wyoming – $1,098
However, if you want to raise a beef cattle farm that serves premium quality beef, you might want to consider procuring Angus, Hereford, and Gelbvieh breeds. These cows produce the best quality when it comes to beef. Sample prices are as follows:
- Angus cows in Utah weighing 1,200 lbs. and 2 to 6 years old cost $1,375 each, while Black Angus cows in Colorado with the same average weight and 3+ years of age cost $1,300 each.
- Herefords in Texas weighing 1,400+ lbs., 2 years or almost 2 years old, cost $3,250.
- Gelbvieh yearlings in North Dakota with a weight ranging from 745 lbs. to 809 lbs., 205 days old, were sold for between $4,500 and $5,000.
When choosing a cow that produces large quantities of milk, you might want to consider procuring Holstein, Jersey, Brown Swiss, and Guernsey. Besides the enormous milk quantities, they also come in premium quality.
Dairy cows typically sell for between $900 and $3,000 on average, depending on the breed.
Below are some of the most popular cow/cattle breeds in the US:
- Black Angus
- Red Angus
- Texas Longhorn
There are also those breeds that are purchased for the sole purpose of being used for rodeo competitions.
Where To Procure Prime Cows Online
Living in the countryside gives you an upper hand when it comes to buying cows due to proximity. You won’t really have to go far from the source of your trade and you virtually won’t experience a logistics nightmare, something most people from faraway places get accustomed to, apart from it being very costly.
However, breeders and sellers make it easier for their clientele to reach out to them wherever they may be by putting up some great websites, such as the following:
- The Cattle Range
- Ranch World Ads
Cost of Raising Cows
Raising cows is a continuous process that starts from the moment the animal leaves the breeder’s barn and ends when you dispose of them later on. Therefore, you need to tend to anything they need in between those periods. Those include the following:
1. Pasture Ground – not everyone owns a large clearing where they can allow their cows to graze. It’s a good thing, many landowners have acres of good pasture ground that are available for lease.
Pasture grounds for lease cost around $500 a year. Some of these are near water wells or small ponds that provide a water supply for the cows.
Seasonal pasture areas cost $30 per acre, but this depends on the market value or sale value of the pastureland and how big your cows would need. As a rule of thumb, the rental of the pastureland is typically 1.5% to 2% of its market value per acre.
2. Sheds – cows also need shelter against the rain and a place to stay at night. A slatted shed will cost around $830 depending on the number of cows it will house. Naturally, the more cows, the larger the shed will be needed.
There are those who offer to care for your cows, called feedlots. Feedlots charge the basic overhead expenses for the water and pen cleaning which can be around $200 per year.
3. Health – cows also need vitamins, vaccines, and deworming to keep them safe against illnesses and contagious diseases. Due to the proximity of the cows in the shed, diseases spread easily, so you need to be vigilant all the time.
- Vaccines – Beside keeping your investment healthy and safe, vaccines ensure that the products that are produced by your cows are consumable and devoid of any impurities or bacteria that might cause harm to the public. Cattle vaccines include anti-vital, campylobacter fetus, leptospirosis, clostridial booster, and Brucellosis, among others. Costs range from $13 to $45 per type, depending on the dosage.
- Vitamins – cows need vitamins A and E for normal growth and immunity. They also need vitamin D for calcium and immune function. Vitamins help the cow to be healthy and away from the stress of feedlots. These range between $20 and $42.
- Vet Charge – due to the large size of cows, most often, it is the veterinarian that comes to the farm to do check-ups on cows that have been ill. Some veterinarians charge a trip fee and an additional cost for every cow that they have to examine.
A farm call costs at least $75, with an additional fee of $15 for every animal added to the check-up line. Sometimes, vets charge $100 or more per hour while there.
Other Factors Affecting The Cost of Cows
There are many cows available on the market today. The varieties of cows you want to procure vary in purpose, so this fact will definitely affect the pricing if demand is high.
Also, cow prices vary depending on age. Typically, the more mature the purchase, the more expensive it becomes since less care time will be required for the cow to be productive.
You can also save on costs if you buy cows in pairs. Typically, a cow is paired with a calf when sold. This does not only give you a significant discount, but you can also save on transportation since two cows will be sharing the cost instead of one at a time.