How Much Do Cows Cost?
Cows are raised for meat, while dairy cows are raised for its milk. With more than 1.3 billion cows roaming the world, the cost will be dependent on the cow breed, its size, age, breeder and geographical location.
How much does it cost?
- On the average, a cow with no special breed would cost anywhere from $900 to $1,500, depending on your location.
- A blog site that caters to cattle raising, MotherEarthNews.com, lists prices for cows raised specifically for dairy. It quotes about $1,200 to $2,500 on the average for dairy cows; again, this price will vary according to your location. The site also mentioned that cows with elite genetics sell for as much as $100,000 for those few who can afford it.
- The same site quotes that Jersey miniature cows, preferred because of the high butterfat content of their milk, cost about $1,400 depending on the size, markings and color; the charge may be up to $3,500 for the better ones. Generally, a miniature milk cow weighs at about 500 to 800 pound and measures from 1/3 up to 1/2 compared to the size of the standard milk cow.
- Cattle.com provides detailed prices on daily, weekly, monthly and annual price averages for cattle transaction rates. They also feature online sales from different companies. However, their disclaimer states that these rates are by no means an official sales report but merely estimates.
- According to some 2012 quotes on the Cattle.com website, the average price of cows, with lows and highs, is $2,500 to $5,250 for a Heifer and $1,400 to $5,250 for Steer.
- The Moore Land and Cattle company posted higher prices. The price range for a Heifer was around $1,500 to $9,250 and $1,200 to $3,250 for the Steer.
- The Griswold Cattle Company Classic company listed four categories for its average prices in 2012. A Bred Cow averaged $6,643; a Bred Heifer averaged $7,436, and a Heifer was anywhere from $1,800 to a whopping $57,000 while Steer commanded $2,000 to $3,250.
What is going to be included?
- Some sellers include transfers of the cattle from their location to yours.
- Sellers of cattle, especially with special breeds, provide a health record and food supply for a few days for the transportation period.
What are the extra costs?
- The cost does not stop with the purchase because there are a lot of expenses involved once the cow is permanently in your care. Pasture, corn and hay, consistent water supply, and veterinary and caretaker services are just a few of the expenses that you may want to consider.
- If you do not have available land need to store your cow elsewhere from your home, you may have to lease land from another farmer, which can cost upwards of $300 to $600 per year.
Factors that influence the price:
- The cow’s lineage and breed are influential factors on the cost of the cow. The better the breed and history of its lineage, the higher the price.
- For dairy cows, its age is an important factor because it will matter in milk production.
- Your location and market prices in your area also play a role in the cost.
Tips to know:
- If trucking expenses are not shouldered by the seller, a seller near your place many lower the transfer costs if you ask.
- For dairy cows, check out auctions in your area where prices can really go cheap compared to other sources.
- When buying dairy cows, a great factor to consider is its milking capability because this is your main purpose of raising cattle.
- Purchasing and raising cattle can often pay for itself. You can breed your own cows to make your herd larger, and the money that you earn from the meat and milk of your cows will help you to break even after a short time and even start to make money after a while.
How can I save money?
- Feeds comprise a big part of expenses to be incurred in cattle raising. Try to find high-quality feed that is sold at a low price to get the best deal and save money on everyday feeding. Depending on the amount of food that the cows get from grazing, you may also have the expense of maintaining and irrigating the grass for it to flourish. Try to purchase a piece of land that has its own supply of fresh, clean water for free since this is the best set up.
- Check with ranch owners as some offer lower rates or discounts for a certain number of heads purchased.
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