The Family Cow – Timeline Q & A

Cow2If you are considering a family cow, here are a few timeline questions that I thought would be helpful.

  • At what age can a cow be bred?  13 – 17 months of age
  • When does a cow start to give milk?  After a calf is born
  • Does a cow ever stop giving milk?  About 2 months before her calf is born she will stop lactating to give the utters time to regenerate.
  • What is the gestation period of a calf?  It varies on the age, breed and sex of the calf but generally it is between 279 to 287 days.  It usually takes longer to give birth to a bull calf.
  • When can a calf be weaned?  A calf can be weaned at about 4-5 months since they will be used to foraging by then.
  • When should you expect for the mother cow to start nursing her calf?  Between 2 to 4 hours after giving birth.
  • What is a the lifespan of a cow? 18 to 20 years
  • When can a cow be bred after calving?  First time calf heifers = 90 to 120 days.  Older heifers = 60 to 90 days.

Did you know that there is a website called cattle-exchange?  Here will find cattle for sale.  I have provided a link for homesteaders looking for a Jersey or a Dexter.

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