The question of “How many babies do cows have” is a constant question for ranch beginners and even normal civilians. Normally a cow can give birth to 5 calves in its lifetime, but this can vary due to numerous factors.
If you are also curious about this sphere of knowledge, find out more in our post today.
How Many Calves Does A Cow Have At Once?
Generally speaking, a cow often carries only one calf at once. Its pregnancy lasts for 9 months, similar to a female human, and the cow that gets pregnant for the first time will have a shorter pregnancy period.
Due to this gestation length, normally a cow can give birth to one calf each year.
Another interesting thing is that if the cow carries a bull calf, its gestation length will be longer than if it carries a heifer calf.
For a female cow to get pregnant, ranchers usually inject bull’s cement into it manually, or they can also let the cow and the bull mate naturally.
Read more: Why Do Cows Need Salt?
Can A Cow Have Twins?
Cows can carry twins, but the chance for it to happen is really low – about 5 to 10%.
Giving birth to a twin is highly dangerous not only for the calves but also for the mother. Once a cow gives birth to a twin, this can repeat in its future pregnancy and negatively affect its immune system and health.
The main difficulty is that one of the calves will not be in the proper position, therefore the mother cow will face even more pain when it delivers the babies. So, in this case, a vet will be necessary.
Another disadvantage is that if the newborns are one bull and one heifer, the heifer will be infertile. Moreover, during the delivery process, one or both of the calves cannot survive or die shortly after getting out.
Hence, the risks of having twins totally outweigh the merits.
How Many Babies Do Cows Have In A Lifetime?
The number of calves that a cow can have depends on how long it lives. After giving birth, the mother cow can be bred again a few months later. And, if it is under good care, it can give consistent birth to one calf annually.
Nevertheless, most modern cows raised to produce milk have 5 to 6 calves in their 7-year lifespan. They are bred every year until their economic benefits decrease as they get too old and produce too little milk.
This is when they get replaced by a younger cow to be more productive and it usually happens when the cow reaches 7 years old.
See more: How Do Farmers Kill Cows?
The number of babies that a cow has mainly depends on outside factors. Generally, a cow can give birth to one calf each year and 5 to 6 babies during its life if it receives good care. Twin pregnancy is harmful to both the babies and the mother therefore ranchers should come up with the best way to care for and take the most advantage of their cows.