How Much Do Calves Cost?
Calves are the young of domestic cattle. Calves are bred to become adult cattle or can be slaughtered young for their meat, known as veal. Calves can be produced naturally or by artificial breeding through artificial insemination. Calves are mainly used as a food source by people. Aside from the meat, a calf’s brain and liver can also be consumed. The price of calves depends on the seller, but the pricing varies depending on the quality, age, health, geographical location and market conditions.
How much is it?
- One type of calf is the Jersey bull calf, which is one week old and is sold for anywhere from $70 to $140 each. A month old Jersey bull calf is also sold anywhere between $130 and $150.
- Another type of calf that is sold is Gurnsey bull calf, which is also 3 to 5 months old. This type of calf is sold for anywhere from $140 to $170. A Jersey heifer calf can run you anywhere from $70 to $125 each.
- Some farmers may charge by the pound. If this is the case, the industry standard can range from $0.75 to $1.50 a pound. This will all depend on the area, the type of calf, and the market conditions.
- According to this DairyForums.com thread, a user had stated that a Holstein Bull Calf was running anywhere from $125 to $175 while a day old calf could be less than $80. This was based in the state of Florida. The geographical location can greatly influence the price of the calf.
What are the extra costs?
- Feeding calves involves the use of hay and other grains. Other types of food calves may eat include molasses as well as milk. Beef pellet and calf muesli can also be fed to the calves. This is sold in packs of different volumes and can be sold for anywhere from $15 to $150.
- Hay provides a comfortable environment for the calves and a bale can be purchased for $15 to $20. See: “How much does a bale of hay cost?“
What is going to be included?
- Some farmers and sellers will ship the calves to your home free of charge. Check with the farmers to see what their policy is on shipping and delivery.
- Paperwork may also come along with the calves. This paperwork may include the date of birth, it’s vaccinations, and any other pertinent information.
How can I save money?
- If you are planning to purchase a lot of calves, you should buy from a single seller since he/she will often provide discounts for bulk orders.
- Try to compare prices from several sellers to determine which one can offer calves at the best price. Check online as many auctions can often showcase the inventory currently available.
- Be sure to check around the local area as many auctions can have different buyers. At these auctions, consider connecting with the farmers directly. By purchasing the calves for a fair price direct can save upwards of 20% since the farmers won’t have to pay the auction fees on their animals.