Beef Cattle


Question:  Why do people call cows dumb?  Shay – Louis Riel School
Answer: Because people never took the time to get to know them!

Question:  How long does it take for a calf to grow to normal size?  Tiana – St. Thomas More School
Answer: It takes a calf about fifteen months to reach maturity.

Question:  Do cows ever run away?  Colton – Mckenzie Lake School
Answer: Sometimes cattle get out but usually don't go far. We have fences to keep them in the fields.


Question:  How much milk do calves drink a day?  Kiana – Joan of Arc School
Answer: A two month old calf will drink an average of eight litres of milk per day.

Question:  What do you feed cows? – Kale - A E Bowers School
Answer: In the summer the cows graze on a grass pasture. In the winter the main part of their diet is hay and may be supplemented with grain, such as barley or oats. The cows always have salt and extra minerals they may need available to them.


Question:  Do only male cattle have horns on their head or do some females have them too?  Ryan - Grade 2
Answer:  Both male and female cattle can have horns.   Some breeds such as Angus and polled Herefords do not have horns. 


 Question: How much does a full grown bull weigh? King George School Grades 1 & 2
Answer: The average full grown bull would weigh approximately 1000 kgs.   The biggest bull I have had on my farm weighed 1250 kg and was a purebred Simmental.


Question: How many calves are born to cows/horses each year? King George School Grades1 & 2
Answer: Usually only one calf or foal per year is born. It is however not uncommon for cows to have twin calves, but is rare for horses.   A cow’s gestation time is nine months and a horse’s is eleven months.

Question: How do you train bulls to be so mad? King George School Grades 1 & 2
Answer:  On our farm we only have bulls for breeding purposes.  Our bulls are very tame and have been shown at several competitions by my daughters


Question:  Are your cows milking cows?  And when do you feed your cows and calves?  Harley - Glamorgan School

Answer:  On our farm we do not have any milk cows.  We feed our cows once a day and usually in the morning. 


Question: Do cows have one baby or more at a time? St. Mark’s Grade 3 Class
Answer: Cows usually have one calf at a time, however twins are not uncommon. 



Question: At what age do they kill cows for meat? St. Mark’s Grade 3 Class
Answer: Cattle raised for meat are generally slaughtered at 14 to 16 months old.   The meat is processed and inspected before it is sent to your local butcher or grocery store. 

Question: How long is a cow pregnant for? St. Mark’s Grade 3 Class
Answer: A cow is pregnant the same amount of time as a human -- nine months.

Question: How much do two male cows cost?? Mo Lowe Say - Buchanan School
Answer:  Male cattle are either called bulls or steers. A male that has been neutered is called a steer and are seldom kept past 2 years.  Bulls are usually kept with a farmer's herd for breeding purposes and therefore are kept longer.  In my herd I have kept bulls for up to eight years.  A four year old market bull weighing 1000 kgs would sell for approximately $1300.

Question: Do cows get sick? Lisa - Buchanan School
Answer: Cows are just like people. Farmers take great care to make sure that their animals remain healthy by providing good feed, clean water, bedding and the necessary minerals and vitamins to keep them healthy.

Question:  How much money does a cow cost?  Lisa - Buchanan School
Answer: One (commercial) pregnant cow in Alberta today would cost about $800.00.  Cattle prices can vary significantly from year to year depending on market conditions.  A purebred cow can cost significantly more, as these animals are used to improve your herd.

Question:  How do you take a calf out of a cow when it's born?   Marwa – Calgary Islamic School
Answer:  Most calves are born naturally without assistance from the farmer, but sometimes complications can arise during calving like a breech birth, and a veterinarian may be called for assistance to make sure both the calf and cow are kept alive and healthy.

Question:  How many calves did a cow give birth to in their life time?  Taylor – RJ Hawkey School
Answer:  Cows on our farm generally have their first calf when they are two or three years old. On average we keep a cow for ten years so that cow would have had eight calves in her lifetime.


The information, stories and opinions published on this site, are written, submitted and posted by an independent source and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the Calgary Stampede organization. The Ask Farmer Dave website acts solely as a resource for students, educators and the general public to share stories and information on Southern Alberta farming practices.  Any trademarks, images or patents referred to via this website are the property of their respective owners.