At what age does a female calf become a cow?

Beef Cattle November 10, 2008 Print Friendly and PDF
I don't know if we have a definition when she is consider a cow and not a heifer, but this is my classification: A female bovine at birth is called a heifer calf. If she is retained as a potential female that will be part of the cow herd, she is called a replacement heifer. After she has given birth to her first calf -- usually at about 2-years of age -- she is called a cow. Webster's definition: a fully grown female animal of the ox family, usually kept in herds by farmers for milk ... the female of any animal whose male is known as a bull, for example, the elephant, rhinoceros, whale, seal, moose.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.