What is the gestation period of a cow or heifer?

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On average, the gestation period or length-of-pregnancy of a cow is 285 days long. This is similar to the pregnancy period of a woman, which is closer to around 9 months or ~260 days.

However, actual gestation period of a cow can range from 270 days to 295 days, depending primarily on breed[s], age, body condition and nutritional health. Gestation period is also controlled by genetics, but not rate of maturity. The rate of maturity is more to do with the age a bovine reaches when it starts to put fat down, not muscle, and has very little to nothing to do with reproductive characteristics including length of gestation.

Here are some rules of thumb to remember when trying to figure out how long your cows or heifers will be pregnant for:
  • Heifers that are pregnant for the first time will most likely have a little longer gestation period than older, mature cows. This is typically because heifers are still growing themselves and have to put energy into growing a calf AND their own bodies, including the formation and maturation of their udder.
  • Cows with poorer fertility (or have a tougher time getting bred again after giving birth) may have a longer gestation period than those with good fertility (or those that have settled during the first part of the breeding season after a 45 to 60 day rest period).
  • Usually small cows have a shorter gestation period than big cows, but not always. For instance, Texas Longhorns have a longer gestation period than South Devons, but TL's are smaller in size and lighter in weight than SD's. However, this might be applicable if comparing Jerseys with Charolais or moderate-framed Angus with Chianina.
  • Thin cows may have a shorter gestation than normal-condition cows, and fat cows may have a longer gestation than normal-conditioned cows.
  • Females that have more masculine characteristics may have a longer gestation than those females that are more feminine in conformation.


Please see the related questions below for various breeds and their consequential length of gestation.
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Do all breeds of cows have the same gestational period?

Answer . \nThere is some variation in gestation period for different breeds of cows, but not much. An all-breed average is about 283 days, with the breed-specific averages ranging from approximately 279-292 days. Individual animals may vary, however, and it is not unusual for a cow to deliver ( Full Answer )

How long is the gestation period for a cow or heifer?

On average, the gestation period or length-of-pregnancy of a cow is285 days long. This is similar to the pregnancy period of a woman,which is closer to around 9 months or ~260 days. However, actual gestation period of a cow can range from 270 daysto 295 days, depending primarily on breed[s], age, b ( Full Answer )

What is the gestation period for cows goats and pigeons?

The gestation period for a cow is 285 days. For a goat, it's 150 days. Pigeons do not have gestation periods because they do not give birth to live young: they lay eggs, like any other bird. Thus, the incubation period for a pigeon is 17 to 19 days.

What is the gestation period of a Brahman cow?

Since the Brahman is known to be the latest maturing breed of all cattle in North America, the typical gestation period for a Brahman cow would last from 290 to over 300 days in length.

What are the stages of the gestation period in cows?

The stages of gestation are divided into three periods, all around 3 months and 5 days each: . First Trimester - Day 0 to Day 94 . Second Trimester - Day 95 to day 189 . Third Trimester - Day 190 to day 285

What is the gestation period of a Wagyu cow?

The gestation period of a Wagyu cow is around 285 days long, giveor take a few days. Wagyu cattle tend to have an average gestationlength compared with other breeds.

Is a pregnant heifer a heifer or a cow?

A pregnant heifer is still a heifer because she still hasn't had a calf yet. She only becomes a cow after she's had her calf or after her second calf.

What does gestation have to do with a cow?

Cows are mature female bovines that are capable of having calves. By "having" I mean that they are able to conceive, grow and give birth to live young. Gestation is just a fancy term for pregnancy, which also means that a cow is capable of being pregnant with a calf (being the fetus) inside her. ( Full Answer )

What is the gestation period of a Sahiwal cow?

A Sahiwal cow's gestation period lasts, on average, 289 days, giveor take 3.2 days on average. Sahiwal cows are a breed of Zebucattle, and are native to the Sahiwal district and Punjab region ofPakistan.

What is the gestation period of a Nguni cow?

The length of gestation of a Nguni is quite variable depending on where it's raised and the producer raising them. According to the Nguni Cattle Breeders' Society By-laws, Nguni cattle are allowed to have a minimum gestation period of 266 days and a maximum period of 308 days. See the related link b ( Full Answer )

What is the gestation period of a Chauri cow?

The gestation period of a Chauri cow (which is a cross between a yak and a domestic bovine of Bos primigenius indicus breeding) is around 9 to 10 months in length, which translates to around 290 to 315 days in length.

How old does a cow or heifer have to be until they have their periods?

Bovine females do not have their "periods" like human females do. The "period" is a loose or code term for when the endometrium layer is shedding and the girl or woman is experience heavy bleeding from the uterus through the vaginal opening. Cows nor heifers experience none of this. They have a sexu ( Full Answer )

Is a heifer a cow?

Technically, no. A heifer is a female bovine that has NOT had a calf, thus it is not a cow. A cow is a mature female that has had a calf. In the general context of a "cow," covering all ages and genders of this domestic bovine species, yes.

Can a cow have a gestation period less than eight month's?

Yes, but it's highly unrecommended and highly risky for a calf to even survive. The calves that are born a month or two before the suggested due (which is 9 months, not 8) date are called "premies" or premature calves. They require much more intensive care from the farmer so they live than calves th ( Full Answer )

Why is the gestation period important in cows?

Gestation period is the time, from the point of fertilization, that the embryo divides and replicates into a fetus, which further grows in the uterus--as a baby calf--until it is too large to grow any more in the uterus and thus needs to be born. Gestation is a very important part of the concepti ( Full Answer )

How long is the estrous period in cows or heifers?

The normal estrous period in cows or heifers lasts for 17 to 24 days, depending on the breed and fertility of each individual female. For cows that have just had a calf, estrous periods are typically shorter or more irregular than when they are in their normal cycling periods.

What is the gestation period for a Belgian Blue cow?

Since Belgian Blues typically are slow to mature, that would coincide with an ability to have a lengthy gestation period. Thus, the gestation period for a Belgian Blue cow would typically be from 290 to 300 days in length.

What is the gestation period of an Angus cow?

Angus cattle tend to have short gestation periods, ranging from 260 to 280 days in length. However, this can be the exception rather than the rule. Because Angus are so popular and wide-spread, it shouldn't come to a surprise that some strains may have average or slightly long gestation periods rang ( Full Answer )

Do all cows have the same gestation period?

Not really. On average they are similar (around 285 days) but NEVER the EXACT same. For instance, a Jersey cow will have a shorter gestation period than a Charolais cow, and a thin Angus heifer will have a longer pregnancy than a normally-conditioned cow of the same breed. How long a cow's gestation ( Full Answer )

What is the gestation period for an artificially inseminated cow?

The gestation for a cow that's been AI'd would have the same gestation period as a cow that has been naturally bred: around 285 days, plus or minus. Artificial Insemination does NOT affect the length of gestation of a cow, it only affects what her offspring is going to be.

When is the late gestation period in a cow?

The late gestation period in a cow is the last three months of her pregnancy. In other words, the late gestational period occurs, in a 285-day gestation period from day 195 to 285, which would be the supposed day of birth.

Why do thin cows have a shorter gestation period than normal conditioned cows?

I believe it would be the opposite; thinner cows carry their calves longer than cows with more condition on them. It also has to do with breed as well, since gestation length is heritable. But the main thing is that a thin cow does not have as much body reserves for the calf to, essentially, "feed" ( Full Answer )