How Much Does a Cow Cost in 2024? A Detailed Guide on Price of Cows

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There are several beneficial justifications for raising cattle. others do it for breeding purposes, others just for the milk, and still others do it for the fresh, flavorful red meat they produce, which is among the most popular in the world and is consumed in both traditional homes and fast food establishments. But there are many factors to take into account while growing cattle and one of those factors is the initial expense of purchasing and caring for a cow.

The worth of a cow is influenced by several factors. For instance, a lot of ranchers, farmers, and breeders will take into account the fact that larger cows would cost more. Furthermore, the breed and age of the cows have a big impact on how much they fetch on the market.

It is possible to purchase a cow for less than $1,000 in certain circumstances, but in other cases, you may have to pay anything from $2,500 to $5,000. In order to comprehend the functioning of the cow market, one must first take into account all relevant aspects and do ongoing study on the cattle market and rearing sector.

In brief, the cost of cows varies according on their breed, age, sex, and whether they are raised for milk or meat. While milk cows may range in price from $800 to $3,000, beef cows are more costly than milk cows, with prices between $2000 and $5,000 for a 2,000-pound cow. If the cows are bred, their value will increase as well. Buying a young calf is the least expensive, but it requires the most upkeep.

We created a thorough guide explaining the cost of a cow since we understand that not everyone who wants to start growing cattle and maybe breeding will find it simple. We evaluate pricing for various breeds and age groups via side-by-side arrangement of all the relevant elements.

Having said that, if you keep reading our guide on cow expenses, you’ll be able to figure out how much it costs to feed and care for a cow. You will undoubtedly convert your investment into a successful ranching company if you plan ahead and take excellent care of your cows!

Top Cow Breeds for Raising

It goes without saying that the most common breed of cow to be raised in the United States is the Black Angus. This breed, which originated in Scotland, is well known for providing meat of the highest quality, which is often utilized in the most well-known burger joints and other quick food establishments in America.

However, raising Black Angus cattle requires a great deal of hard labor and dedication—a fact that many ranchers and butchers are unaware of. These animals are thought to be high-maintenance and need a great deal of attention, particularly during their most critical time of year—the calving season.

For a variety of reasons, including personal preference, the calves’ high energy requirements, the desire for less lean meat, or something else entirely, there are fantastic alternatives to raising Black Angus cattle, such as:


One of the earliest breeds of cows to achieve maturity is the Hereford. In addition to their kind disposition and excellent milk output, they are well-known for their fattening characteristics.


To stave off the cold, these cows gain weight and thicker skin throughout the winter. This breed is ideal to have if the winters where you live are really severe since it is suited for cold areas.

Red Angus:

They are just as calm and submissive as Herefords. Their superb fat marbling makes them a popular choice for raising.


Like Charolais, they are also very docile and have great fattening qualities. When the calving season arrives, they are the simplest to deal with.


For cooler areas, this kind of cow is excellent as well. Their lean red meat with beautifully marbled fat tissue makes them even delicious.

Texas Longhorn:

Being able to live comfortably is the least you could ask from a Texas cow. Their name is derived from their long horns. They are known to produce meat that is lower in cholesterol than other cows and have nice, lean flesh.

But if milk is just as important to you as meat, you should think about which cows are ideal for that as well. It goes without saying that all female cows provide milk. It is, nonetheless, more plentiful and of higher quality in some breeds.

The Hereford cow that we previously discussed is the best option if you’re looking for a cow that can provide both meat and milk. Remember that they are also excellent choices for producing milk since they mature early. However, have a look at other breeds that are excellent milk producers.

The Brown Swiss:

There’s a good probability that the milk in every chocolate you’ve ever had that contains Alpine milk was produced by this breed of cow or a closely comparable one. They are soft and very docile, and they also make excellent milk suppliers.

The Jersey cow

They are simpler to grow and take care of than other cow breeds since they are smaller. Furthermore, they generate large amounts of milk.

What Is the Price of a Cow?

There are a few more factors to take into account when purchasing a cow, such as whether the animal will be used for milk or meat. It is much less expensive to buy dairy cows than beef cows. Even while some beef cows also provide excellent milk, you should often choose one goal over the other. Remember that steers are the exception to this rule.

Now, if you want to buy a milk cow, budget between $1,500 and $3,000; if you want a meat cow, your budget will likely be between $3,000 and $5,000. Both yearlings will run you between $700 and $1,200, but be prepared for price increases in line with ongoing cost increases.

You should budget between $50 and $150 if you want to purchase a bottled calf and grow it yourself. Calves often cost more as they get older and begin to put on weight. The same is true for cows that put on weight generally, and for certain breeds, you have to pay per the pound instead of a fixed fee.

The various cow costs are shown in the table below:

Type of CowDescriptionPrice Range
Beef Cows1200 lbs.$2,000–$3,000
Bred Cows800 lbs.$900–$1,000
Calves (Steers)550 lbs.$850
Steers1,200 lbs.$1,600
Calves (Heifers)520 lbs.<$800
Conflict Heifers1,000–1,200 lbs.$1,300
Milk CowsBetween 1,000 and 2,000 lbs.$800–$3,000

The price per head for a beef cow or cow heifer may range from $2,000 to $3,000 on the market. These typically cost between $2,500 and $2,800. But bear in mind that a calf’s weight greatly affects the price, so be prepared to spend up to $5,000 in total for outstanding quality.

Use the CWT measurement unit, which is equivalent to 100 pounds, to get a better measuring perspective of a cow. Nevertheless, a beef cow’s CWT might range from $130 to $170, meaning that a 100-pound cow would pay, on average, $150.

A further factor influencing the price is if the heifers were bred, which will cause the price to climb by 1.5 times overall. Because they may acquire more than 2,000 pounds of weight, full cows can fetch a total of $5,000.

Now that we’ve broken out the total cost of the beef cows, let’s talk about how much a dairy cow would cost. Depending on a variety of conditions, the cost of dairy cows may range from $800 to $3,000, and perhaps much more.

A yearling cow has varying pricing, which increase as the cow establishes itself as a real family member. You will spend a lot less money on a calf or yearling than on a mature cow if you choose to acquire one of them.

Even if they are docile and amiable among people, hand-raised cows raised by bottling or other means will cost extra to purchase. They get along well with humans and are ideal for a family ranch where lots of kids are playing.

Based on age and other variables, we have broken down the cost of dairy cows below.

The price per pound of cows you sell depending on the weight ratio ranges from $1 to $1.35.
Compared to heifers, the cost of a bred cow might range from $500 to $1,000.
Dairy cows that are lactating might cost up to $2,000.
Jersey cow prices range from $1,500 to $1,800.

Cost of a Baby Cow:

Factors such as the age, breed, and gender of a young calf you’re trying to buy will influence how much it costs. A calf that is only a day or two old will probably cost you about $50. On the other hand, because to their high mortality rate, rearing them will come with additional costs.

More money will be spent on a yearling; a beef yearling will likely cost $700, while a dairy yearling would cost $500. Calf prices may range from $800 to $900 as they become older, depending on their weight.

Editor’s note: Remember that young cows may be quite challenging to grow and will need a lot of upkeep and veterinary costs on your part. In order for you to be able to make money along the road, you need also be committed to rearing a healthy cow.

Additional Cow-Keeping Expenses

Every cow you have on your ranch comes with additional expenses every year, regardless of breed or purpose of ownership. Here are some things to think about before buying your first cows if you’re planning to do so. The whole expense of owning a cow will probably run you between $500 and $1,000, and eventually the cost may rise to $1,500 per cow.

A cow’s nutrition consists of more than simply grass, even if they do need a few acres per cow to be grass-fed. Cows have a diverse diet. If you are raising a beef cow, they need between thirty and sixty pounds of hay. You should anticipate that milk cows you raise will consume up to 100 pounds of various feed each day.

The expenses will also vary based on whether you have enough acreage to make your own hay or whether you must purchase hay. It goes without saying that, should you decide to purchase it, your feeding costs alone may run you anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000.

The cows also need grain, alfalfa, oats, maize, and barley as additional diet.

Editor’s notes: It’s also important to know that in addition to food, cows will need expensive vitamins and minerals to help them remain healthy as they develop. It’s crucial to include in maintenance costs and veterinarian fees when calculating the overall cost of caring for a cow since parasites and health are also a concern. In the event that you are rearing cows for breeding, there are additional expenses associated with breeding.

Where Is a Cow for Sale?

When buying a cow, you have a few alternatives to consider. Buying it locally is your best option since you’ll get it at a lesser price and the delivery expenses will be the lowest. Nonetheless, because dairy producers only want male cattle for reproduction, selling them to them will also be less expensive.

Other choices you have are:

looking through the Facebook and Instagram profiles of regional agricultural organizations
Looking through Craigslist
Examining the FFA and 4H groups
Local farmers’ sales advertisements are often prominently displayed on feed store bulletin boards.
Find out whether you may attend any cattle auctions.
Individual breeders who have verified purebred cows.

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