How Much Does A Calf Cost? Getting More Money As A Rancher


Ranchers can raise different kinds of livestock. While there are those who raise pigs and chicken, there are those who focus on raising cows. Cows can be raised in order to produce dairy and they can also be raised for their meat. Depending on the purpose, ranchers will need to buy calves of a specific breed.

Buying calves is actually a necessary part of being a rancher, as a matter of fact, it is one of the ways that a rancher can earn more money in the long run. Purchasing cattle, especially when it is still a calf can be very challenging. If you will not think it through properly, you can end up losing money instead.

Knowing how much a calf costs is very important. This is because aside from helping you to make the right financial decisions for your ranch, it can also be used so you can better assess the value of your livestock. Here’s what you need to know about the cost of a calf:

How Much Does A Calf Cost? Getting More Money As A Rancher

Why Should I Buy A Calf?


In most cases, ranchers will opt not to buy calves especially very young ones simply because they are still very weak and there is a good chance that they might die. There are instances however, when a rancher will want a young calf especially when one of his cows have just recently lost a calf.

Some ranchers or farmers will also buy calves to augment their livestock so that the ranch can continue to produce the same amount of dairy products. This is particularly true for people who focus on producing cheese or milk for large-scale or commercial purposes.

If the rancher raises cattle for meat, then he or she will be needing calves so that the production of meat will remain steady for the next couple of months. The rancher will buy a calf to be raised for beef production. The rancher can also buy a calf to replace the stock that will produce beef cows later on.

How Much Does A Calf Cost?

a calf

The price of a calf will vary depending on the breed of the calf. If you are looking to buy Wagyu calves for example, you might have to spend several thousand dollars if you can find one who is willing to sell it. But calves from common cow breeds will only cost from $70 - $120.

Aside from its breed, the price of a calf can vary depending on which area it is being sold and on the market conditions. For example, some calves are sold per pound. There are instances where the calves are sold at $0.75 per pound or as much as $1.50 per pound depending on where you are buying.

In areas where the cows are not producing calves properly, people might be more willing to pay a higher price for one calf. As a matter of fact, some of them can sell for as much as $235 each. It is also possible for them to cost as much as $300-$600 especially if they are bought at an auction.

Other Factors To Consider

fedding calves

The price of the calf can also vary depending on whether it is in good health or not. Calves that look strong and healthy can easily fetch a higher price than those that look lethargic, sickly or weak. You should also consider knowing whether the calf is meant for beef, for dairy or for breeding stock.

Prices also differ from young calves and weaned calves. Young calves are only a few days to a few weeks old and they are typically cheaper. Weaned calves on the other hand are 3-4 months old and they already weigh as much as 100 kilograms. You can expect them to be more expensive.


2 calves

When it comes to buying calves, you need to be very careful since it is an investment that can easily make you earn or lose money. The calves that you buy needs to look good and it has to be healthy so that you will be able to use it later for meat production, for producing dairy or for your breeding stock.

For most ranchers, buying a calf is a critical step towards the success of the ranch. This is why you need to have a keen eye when it comes to the selection and you should also know the true value of the calf even before you know its price. You should also use the current price of calves from credible sources.

As of January of 2017, the standard calf price was at $154. This is why if you want to buy a calf, you will have to make sure that the price is somewhere near that amount. If the prices are a bit high, then it may be because of the breed or because of the market conditions of that area.

If you want to buy a calf, please make sure that you know your budget. Try to check whether you want to buy one from a private seller or from an auction. Make sure that the calf is healthy, and try to ask the seller if he or she would be willing to give you a discount if you want to buy in bulk.

About the Author Emily Taylor

My name is Emily Taylor, gardening is my passion and I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone. I know that there are millions of people out there want their backyard and garden be attractive just like their front yard, so I am here to help you create your own backyard paradise.

Leave a Comment:

Emma says Jun. 2018

Can I please have a baby cow?

Mohammad J Uddin says Jun. 2018

I would like know how maintaining cattle for milk and beef along with other factors.

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