Cattle Reproduction

What is the gestation period of a cow or heifer?

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2016-01-18 02:48:07
2016-01-18 02:48:07

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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a brown Swiss cow or heifer has the same gestation as any beef or dairy bovine which is 283 to 285 days or 9 months

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It would be about the same as with a Jersey cow. See the related question below.

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A heifer is a female bovine that has not yet had its first calf. A long bred heifer is a heifer well along in the gestation period and due to calve shortly.

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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 period depends on breeding, health, conformation and age. See the related question below for more information on this.

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The gestation period of a mini cow is around 285 days, which is the same length for a full-sized cow.

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The gestation period of a Holstein cow averages around 283 to 286 days.

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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.

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The gestation period of a Red Pol cow is around 285 days long, plus or minus a few days.

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The gestation length of a Dexter cow is short, which is around 260 to 283 days long.

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That depends on the breed. body condition and age of the cow and what period of gestation or pregnancy she's in. A cow early in gestation may weigh less than a cow in late gestation.

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The cow has the longest gestation period of the two species: A dog is pregnant for around 60 days, whereas a cow is pregnant for around 285 days.

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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.

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A cow that is close to calving, and is far along in her gestation period.

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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.

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Horse cows do not exist.


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