The average lifespan of a cow: features and interesting facts

Surely many of you know that a cow is one of the most important animals in the agricultural sector. Today it is difficult to imagine the life of a person without milk and dairy products. On our table every day there are cottage cheese, sour cream, yogurt, and so on. Many are starting to even think about running their own home business. But before you buy livestock, you need to know what the life expectancy of a cow. Also, it will be useful to be able to determine the age of the animal. After all, the quality of the milk they give depends on it.

How long does a cow live? The life span of this livestock depends on several factors at once. In them, we will try to understand this review.

Cow: how many lives on average?

cow's lifespanPeople managed to tame and domesticate the ancient ancestors of cows.Since then, this cattle in the wild can not survive without man.

The life span of a domestic cow mainly depends on the following indicators:

  • nutrition;
  • breeds;
  • living conditions and care.

It is also worth considering the fact that, by nature, cows live longer than bulls. A healthy burenka, which is kept in normal conditions and provided with good nutrition, lives on average about 25 years. The age of a cow can reach 40 years, but this happens quite rarely. The bull lives much less. The average duration of his life is fifteen years. However, sometimes there are unique individuals. So, there was one famous case in the history of animal husbandry, when a cow lived half a century. Only this is the exception rather than the rule. On farms, cows rarely live that long.

How to increase the life of a cow?

If the owner of the farm wants to make his cows live longer than expected, then for this purpose he will have to put a lot of effort and money. Keep the animal better away from the urban environment, especially when it comes to large industrial centers.Cows feel better in the fresh air in the village. There, the air is not poisoned by exhaust gases and the water is cleaner.

Stages of life of a cow

average life expectancy of a cowHow long can the cow use on the farm? What is the average lifespan of a cow? These questions are usually asked by novice livestock breeders.

Answering them, one can say that in years the productive age of a cow lasts for about 12 years. This is when you consider that the cattle calves annually. Usually the first calving occurs at the age of three years. Thus, it turns out that an animal for about 15 years can fully serve on the farm, bringing calves and giving milk. Then the animal loses its reproductive functions. Although some argue that after this the cow can still be milked, the product will not have the same quality as before.

Signs of aging in cows

Over time, a number of signs that may indicate an aging animal can be noted:

  • the cow begins to eat worse;
  • the animal sleeps longer than the rest of the individuals in the herd;
  • the cow no longer gives milk or very little;
  • cattle teeth begin to wear out.

If you have noticed all the above signs in an animal, then most likely it is time to send it for slaughter.It is worth noting that cows of meat and dairy breeds have a different life expectancy. Dairy lives about four years less than meat. The popular dairy breeds include Holstein and Ayshir.

It is conditionally possible to divide the life expectancy of a cow into several stages:

  1. Maturation: this period lasts the first half year.
  2. Lactation and calving: the most active stage in the life of the animal. May continue from 14 to 14.5 years.
  3. After reaching the age of 15 years, the aging stage begins. Lactation becomes impossible.

Does the life span of a cow differ depending on the conditions in which it is kept? The answer to this question will be positive. If a cow is in a simple private farmstead, then the duration of her active life will be at least 15 years. If the cow is kept on a large farm, then this period is reduced to 12 years.

There are a few more points that have a negative impact on the life expectancy of a cow. The factors that determine the duration of the active life of the animal will be given below.

Because of the reduced life of the animal

how long does a cow liveIt is believed that the following factors affect a cow’s life span:

  • poor nutrition;
  • short feeding time on pasture;
  • climatic conditions.

Usually an animal after 15 years of life ceases to be useful. At the same time, many farmers are beginning to wonder how to slaughter an animal correctly. But here everyone already acts as he sees fit. Burenka 15 years later ceases to benefit in the economy. However, it is not necessary to immediately kill the animal. If the owner is attached to her, he can continue to care for the cow.

How do external conditions affect the life of a cow?

Every farmer probably wants his animals to live as long as possible. So they can bring more benefits to the household.

What can a farmer do to provide better living conditions for his animals:

  • give cattle more attention and time;
  • monitor the quality of animals on the farm.

Factors independent of the owner of the farm

cow's home life expectancyIt is necessary to highlight the main ones:

  • the country in which the farm is located;
  • terrain features: average air temperature, landscape, altitude;
  • general climatic conditions.

Another factor that has a great impact on the health of the animal is the number of calvings.Dairy cows often suffer from joint diseases. This is due to the fact that lactation washes calcium out of the body. Frequent calving also wears out the body and adversely affects the general state of health. When maintaining such a lifestyle, the organism can be significantly weakened at the age of 10.

How is the age of the animal determined?

cow's lifespan isWhen buying a cow it is extremely important to correctly determine the approximate age of the animal. The surest way to do this is to inspect the teeth. In young individuals you can find dairy. Older individuals have molars, but strong enough teeth. With the attainment of old age, the cow's jaw gradually begins to wear out. Here it is necessary to take into account the type of feeding of an individual and the peculiarities of a particular breed. Also when choosing pay attention to the incisors. They can be external, medium and internal. As a rule, chisels-hooks are formed by two years. By four years, all teeth must be completely replaced. After reaching the age of seven years, fangs gradually begin to wear out. Somewhere in nine years, the surface of the hooks takes the form of a quadrangle. After 12 years, teeth begin to thin.Then it will be extremely difficult to determine the exact age of the cow.

Rules for keeping cattle

cow's life expectancy is yearsBreeding cattle is a fairly serious business on an industrial scale. As a rule, in such conditions, special attention is not paid to the age of animals. The cows themselves in such enterprises live no more than seven years. It should be understood that in the conditions of a large enterprise with more than 100 heads, it is impossible to pay due attention to each animal. Therefore, the life expectancy of a cow is 7 years instead of 15.

The difficulty of breeding cows on an industrial scale

Another problem faced by owners of large livestock enterprises is viral diseases that are transmitted between animals. Such diseases can adversely affect not only the quality of milk, but also the productivity of individuals. If under normal conditions at such enterprises the life expectancy of a cow is about seven years, then with the defeat of viral diseases the average life of the animal becomes even less. However, if a large company still monitors the conditions of livestock and has a staff of special staff responsible for carrying out veterinary inspections,then the animals will live longer.


Many novice farmers are probably worried about how to determine the life expectancy of a cow. After all, the quality of dairy products depends on it. If you give cattle enough attention and care for them, you can significantly improve the living conditions of animals.

cow life factorsBut be that as it may, if you decide to breed cattle, particularly cows, do not forget to provide them with proper care. The most minimal thing they need is an equipped living space, as well as a healthy balanced diet. And then good dairy products are provided to you.

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