How Many Pounds of Meat Can We Expect From A Beef Animal?

Theres no question that cows are generally large animals. However, how much does a cow weigh, and what factors affect that weight?

The various types of cows and their weights will be examined in this article. Comparing the weights of dairy, beef, and calf cows will teach us about the major factors that affect a cow’s weight. Well even discuss how much meat a cow gives.


How Much Does a Cow Weigh?

Sadly, there is no definitive answer to the question of how much a cow weighs. A cow’s weight will depend on a number of variables, including its breed, age, and gender. As a result, cows’ weights vary greatly, even among those in the same herd.

For example, the heaviest cow is the Chianina breed, and they are typically around 3,500 pounds. In comparison, the smallest cow in the world is only 20 inches tall and weighs only 57 pounds. Needless to say, cows vary greatly in size and weight.

Still, we can give averages. Adult bulls typically weigh 2,400 pounds, while adult cows typically weigh 1,600 pounds. Despite being averages, these figures do demonstrate the differences in weight between genders.

Factors That Impact a Cow’s Weight

As mentioned above, many factors impact a cow’s weight. The most obvious include breed, gender, and age. In addition, the diet and genetic makeup of each individual have an impact on weight, which explains why cows from the same herd and age can weigh wildly different amounts.

The following are the most crucial elements to take into account when evaluating a cow’s weight:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Breed
  • Location
  • Food sources and nutrition
  • Individual traits

The weights listed below are averages because all of these variables affect a cow’s weight. This implies that the provided weights are only estimates. Although these weights provide a useful indication of the weight of cows, they shouldn’t be taken as absolute evidence of the ideal cow weight.

How Much Does a Calf Weigh?

A cow or bull that is under a year old is called a calf. These cows are much smaller and lighter than their adult counterparts because they are so young.

At birth, most calves weigh around 82 pounds. Bull calves will typically gain around 80 pounds in their first month of life. Heifers gain weight over the same period of time, though slightly less slowly. They gain weight as they develop and get bigger. A calf’s weight gain during the first year of life can reach hundreds of pounds.

The calf breed can largely impact how much the calf weighs upon birth and how much they put on during the first year of life. For example, a Jersey calf may weigh as little as 93 pounds during its first month in life, while a Brown Swiss can weigh as much as 163 pounds.

Age Jersey (lbs.) Holstein (lbs.) Guernsey (lbs.) Brown Swiss (lbs.)
1 month 93-108 119-136 122-143 134-163
2 months 122-146 161-189 166-193 187-223
3 months 155-177 211-234 203-233 240-283
4 months 183-217 258-284 255-299 293-343
5 months 233-278 311-339 299-354 345-403
6 months 259-321 369-422 366-434 396-462
8 months 335-412 468-530 433-503 498-580
10 months 391-483 575-653 511-588 597-694
12 months 471-548 682-760 576-674 693-805

How Much Does a Beef Cow Weigh?

In comparison to calves, beef cows weigh a lot more. In fact, a lot of beef cows are raised specifically for beef because they are large and provide more meat. As a result, even beef cow calves are heavier than some of the aforementioned breeds.

The Angus cow is one of the most widely used cattle for beef. The average six-month-old Angus beef cow weighs between 450 and 550 pounds. Typically, mature heifers weigh between 800 and 1,400 pounds. Even heavier than the Angus are other beef cows like the Shorthorn.

The weight of male beef cows is also significantly higher than that of their female counterparts. Angus males average 1,870 pounds, whereas mature Angus heifers typically weigh no more than 1,400 pounds. Meanwhile, the Shorthorn males average out at 2,100 pounds.

Breed Male (lbs.) Female (lbs.)
Hereford 1,800 1,200
Angus 1,870 1,210
Shorthorn 2,100 1,760
Brahman 2,100 1,320
Simmental 2,500 1,300
Limousin 2,530 1,650

How Much Does a Beef Cow Weigh at Slaughter?

Most cows weigh between 900 and 1,350 pounds when they are slaughtered, but the exact weight varies depending on the customer’s requirements.

It’s crucial to remember that not all cows are killed when they reach maturity. Some customers favor the more tender meat, which is typically from calves. As a result, when calves are killed, they will weigh significantly less than when mature cows are killed.

Note that the amount of flesh used for food is not equal to the overall weight of the cow. Instead, only about 65% of the carcass weight is used for food. Let’s take an example. Let’s assume that an Angus female is slaughtered at 1,200 pounds. It is most likely that the hanging carcass weight will only be about 750 pounds.

How Much Does a Dairy Cow Weigh?

The breed determines a dairy cow’s weight, just like it does for beef cows. Simply because they don’t need to produce as much food, dairy cows aren’t always as heavy as beef cows. Considering that dairy cows are always female, they naturally weigh less than beef cows.

Breed Average Weight (lbs.)
Jersey 900
Guernsey 1,050
Ayrshire 1,150
Brown Swiss 1,350
Dairy Shorthorn 1,450
Holstein-Friesian 1,600

Cows naturally come in a variety of sizes and shapes. While obvious factors like breed, age, and gender affect a cow’s weight, so do the herd’s location and diet. Naturally, heavier cows than those on strict diets will be those with constant access to food.

Featured Credit: Piqsels

Chief Pet Expert Nicole, a Canadian expat, now resides in New Zealand with her Kiwi husband and their newborn daughter on a property surrounded by lush forests. She is passionate about all animals of all species and wants to share what she knows about animals with other experts. She especially loves good interspecies friendships.

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How much does a full size beef cow weigh?

These animals typically weigh between 1200 and 1300 pounds, but their weight can vary and may range from 1000 to 1500 pounds, rarely going higher or lower. On average, beef cattle have a dressing percent of 60-62% meaning a 1200 lbs live steer will have a carcass weight of about 720 lbs (1200×0

How much meat do you get from a 1200 pound steer?

In conclusion, a 1200 pound steer with 12 inch of fat and average muscling produces a 750 pound carcass. In general, the 750-pound carcass produces 490 pounds of boneless, trimmed beef. 150 pounds fat trim.

How much meat will I get from a 600 pound cow?

QUICK ESTIMATION: We figure 66. 66% of the hanging weight ends up as packaged beef for your freezer So on a 600 lb. hanging weight whole, you would end up with 400 lbs. of beef.

How much is a 1200 pound steer worth?

According to the 2019 budget, slaughter cows weighing 1,200 pounds are anticipated to cost $50 on average per hundredweight, while steers and heifers weighing 550 pounds and 520 pounds are anticipated to cost $145 and $130, respectively, per hundredweight.

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