Cows used for high production are allowed to live on average for less than three years, though on some farms cows are kept alive to produce milk for four to ten years. Once their time is done on the dairy farm, they are slaughtered and their flesh is sold as low-grade beef. 30 Nov 2021

If a cow, who was in the middle of her lactation and producing eight gallons of milk per day, went for a significant time without being milked, it could cause bruising, udder injury, sickness and, if it continued, could result in death (this would take many consecutive days without milking).

Cows can live for over 20 years but on commercial farms the age at slaughter varies considerably. Farms with poor management, high- yielding cattle or high disease rates will slaughter their animals at a much younger age, normally after four lactations (around 5-6 years old), but sometimes after 2 or 3.

A bred cow would bring $1,300 to $1,500 per cow. Profitability varies significantly among individual producers, but Olson said the general picture is that per-head average profit should be from $175 to $200 per cow; the majority of producers aren’t making enough money. 31 Jan 2022

Cattle ranchers earn almost twice as much as the average American worker, but their jobs are also physically strenuous. Income and profit fluctuates from year to year due to shifting overhead costs, government subsidies and public policies regulating the beef industry.

Beef cattle are generally the most profitable and easiest livestock to raise for profit. Beef cattle simply require good pasture, supplemental hay during the winter, fresh water, vaccinations and plenty of room to roam. You can buy calves from dairy farms inexpensively to start raising beef cattle.