How Long Does It Take For A Cow To Mature?

How Long Does It Take For A Cow To Mature?

It’s no doubt that raising cattle is profitable, which is the mean reason why so many livestock farmers are raising them. The demand of cattle produce is forever growing and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere soon.

When raising beef cattle you may only have two goals in mind. The first goal is for your cattle to produce calves each and every year resulting you growing your herd or you can sell them to other farmers or butchers. The second goal is to feed and raise your cattle until they can be ready to be slaughtered.

So how long does it take until they mature to get slaughtered?

You may not believe it but cows are just like people, it takes a female cow nine months to give birth to a healthy baby after they have fallen pregnant. Female cows have large bodies since they eat and drink a lot. Their priority is to have healthy babies, and they are usually in charge.

No matter which way you look at it calves are cute animals. When a calf is born it will remain with its mother until it’s around four to six months old. In some farms the calves are separated from their mothers, the main reason this is done is so the calf is sold to a feedlot. Most cattle farmers will only sell their Angus bulls and cross bred calves, but keep and raise their Angus heifers so to grow the number of herds in their farm.

Lately the term feedlot has received a lot of bad press, but it’s un-deserved because calves can be raised in two different ways which are grass-fed and/or grain feed, which maybe done organically or non-organically.

If a livestock farmer decides to castrate a bull, they usually get a veterinarian to perform the castration and it is usually done in just a few weeks of age. However there are some livestock farmers who do the castration on their own without the help of a veterinary.

Other types of livestock may not be castrated, but if you are raising bulls for meat production then it is important that they are castrated. When the bull is at its puberty stage, the hormones it produces can leave the meat with a bad taste. But if you raise heifers can you won’t have a problem.

A heifer can be bred around 15 months old, they reach puberty when they are about over a year old and are ready to be bred. When they are around 24 months old they are ready to fall pregnant and have a baby, by this time they are at full body size and capable of taking care of their calves.

Some livestock farmers house their calves outside, either on pasture or on concrete which has lots of hay, grain and water. They do not force the calves to eat but let them eat on their own. The goal is for them to grow healthy and produce meat, so you should allow them to eat as much as they want to eat. These type of cattle are called ‘finishing’ cattle and are raised and feed until they reach just about 1000 to 1200 pounds, which usually happens when they are around 18 months of age. They are then considered ‘finished’ when they reach their target weight.

Cattle that are grass fed can also be considered ‘finishing’ cattle until they reach around 1000 to 2000 pounds. Keep in mind that they are not given grain but feed a lot on hay and pasture, and this can be done organically and non-organically. They are not like their grain-fed counterparts because they don’t receive the same amount of calories. They reach their finished weight when they are about three years of age.

The moment steers and heifers are finished, weather they where grass-fed or grain-fed, they are then sent to the slaughter house to be humanely slaughtered and then butchered into cuts of meat which is then sold in butcheries and stores.

How Long Does It Take For A Cow To Mature?

Some Tips To Raising Healthy Cattle Till They Mature

The Cattle:

You should make up your mind on what you want to achieve from your project before you buy your cattle. Are you into raising cattle for milk or meat production? And also know if you will be barley feeding, corn-feeding or grass-feeding them.

As dietary supplement you should provide your livestock with plant proteins. As for milk cattle they should be given lots of grains because this increases their production of milk.

Choose your breed wisely because some cattle strive best under certain conditions than others. So make it a point that you research the type of climate you in so you can buy the suitable cattle breed.

The Land:

The land you have, is it enough for your cattle to graze on? The pasture should be plenty to feed all your livestock. You will need lots of money to have large land so make it a point that you have some money to invest in this business venture.

Some farmers say that shelter is not needed for cattle but it’s always a good idea to build one for yours because it can come handy it some point. The advantages of having some shelter built for your cattle are that they can get some shelter when it gets too hot or too cold. And you can also store some of the handy equipment needed for managing livestock such as feed and water equipment. The pen will also help in separating the females and bulls, plus when you want to separate the calf from the mother.


In order to get some good returns in investment you should sell your cattle for the right market price. You can sell your cattle to other livestock farmers, large corporations or butcheries. But before you do that make sure you are up to date with the market prices so you can get the best price for your cattle. Check out online livestock forums and Facebook groups to see how much other farmers are charging for their cattle.

Article Related Questions:

  • How long does it take for a cow to get fully grown?
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  • What is the best age to slaughter a cow?
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