How Much Does A Cat Weigh? (Avg Weight by Age

Cows greatly vary in weight depending mostly on the breed and the age of the cow

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According to North Dakota State University data, the weight ranges greatly for a typical herd

There’s no one average number for all the breeds combined, but… For now, let’s try to answer the general question about the average weight of a cow

In the US, the average weight of a mature beef cow (such as Angus) is about 1,210 pounds, while the average weight of an adult dairy cow (such as Holstein) is around 1500 pounds

However, a cow’s weight will greatly vary by breed

For example, Holstein dairy cows are one of the larger ones, and usually weigh about 1,500 pounds fully grown, while Jersey dairy cows are on the smaller side, weighing about 900 pounds on average, when full-grown

We can separate the weights relative to the age and the breed of the cow, as shown below

If you’re looking to get into the beef productions business then it’s important to have the right equipment, such as feed bunks, hay feeders (portable even better), headgate, holding chute, working chute, and a few other important items

Let’s look at the cow’s weight more precisely

Beef cattle (raised for meat production primarily) and dairy cattle (raised for milk primarily) typically weigh differently, but even among the beef or dairy breeds, we have huge differences

I’ve used data from research and calculations on The Pennsylvania State University, North Dakota State University, and Wikipedia itself to get the most accurate and recent data about cow weights (by age and by gender)

I’ve used this data to put together tables of weights for heifers (female calves) by month, and some data on the major breeds in the US and their average weights

Herders always weigh a cow at weaning, which is the time when a calf is separated from the mother

Cows continue gaining weight until they reach 7 years of age, then they slowly lose weight until they leave the herd

The weight of a cow depends mostly on these factors:

This means the weights can range wildly, but, we can still take the averages to be useful, based on the large available data set

For more information on the breeds of beef cattle, visit the Oklahoma State Beef Breeds Directory

A typical beef cow such as Angus weighs around 1210 lbs (550kb) for a mature female, and around 1870 lbs (850 kg) for bulls (on average)

For a typical herd, this is not a very useful answer because the herd may consist of a variety of cows by age and breed

Cow weight will greatly vary based on many factors

Angus beef cow will be about 450-550 pounds when 6 months old, while a mature heifer could weigh anywhere between 800 and 1400 pounds

Heifer growth is usually compared to breed standards to determine normal progress

Here is a list of the average weight of beef cows by breed (female):

The average weight of male beef cows by breed (bulls):

Angus – 1,870 pounds (850 kg)

Angus – 1,870 pounds (850 kg)

Hereford – 1,800 pounds (816 kg)

Shorthorn – 2,100 pounds (950 kg)

Shorthorn – 2,100 pounds (950 kg)

If you are looking to get into the beef production business (or are there already) then the general answer to a general question is not that useful for you

What’s more important is the weight of cows you are turning out to pasture

In an ideal world, you’d want to hit 1150 lbs in 15-16 months for a typical beef cow, but this would depend a lot on genetics and breed, and is difficult to reach

How much do cows weigh in a typical herd?

At NDSU Dickinson Research Extension Center, they monitor cow weight throughout the years, and here is the data from a few years ago on the weights of cows in the herd:

This herd was a combination of Angus, Red Angus, and Hereford breeding, with the lighter-weight cows showing the influence of Lowline breeding

Knowing the weight of the cows being turned out to grass is something every producer needs to know, and it is a cornerstone for good management

Depending on the breed, a full mature Holstein dairy cow weighs around 1,500 lbs (700 kg) on average, a mature Ayrshire weighs around 990 to 1,320 lbs, while the Jersey breed (being among the smallest of the dairy breeds) weighs around 900 lbs (410kg) on average

These are all (naturally) female cow weight examples, while the males usually weigh more

Here is a list of the average weights of dairy cows by breed – female:

Holstein-Friesian – 1,600 pounds (725 kg)

Jersey – 900 pounds (408 kg)

Brown Swiss – 1,350 pounds (612 kg)

Dairy Shorthorn – 1,450 pounds (658 kg)

As you can see, there is no one single answer to a weight of an average dairy cow across all breeds

A calf is a young domestic cattle, and its weight quickly grows every month

The calf at birth will weigh about 82 pounds

A commercial steer (bull calf) is expected to put on about 71 to 79 lbs (32-36kg) per month, while a heifer puts on less, depending on the breed

I’ve looked more closely into dairy cow heifer weights by age, and got the data from PennState Uni on heifer growth and the average and recommended weights of the most popular dairy cow breeds in the US

Average Calf Weights by age (Holstein, Jersey, Brown Swiss)

Average Calf Weights by age (Holstein, Jersey, Brown Swiss)

(weight in lbs)Jersey

(weight in lbs)Brown Swiss

Average Calf Weights by age (Guernsey, Ayrshire, Milking Shorthorn)

Average Calf Weights by age (Guernsey, Ayrshire, Milking Shorthorn)

(weight in lbs)Ayrshire

(weight in lbs)Milking Shorthorn

(weight in lbs)

(weight in lbs)

Source: PennState Extension at The Pennsylvania State University

Recommended ranges for other breeds (not Holstein) represent the 50th to 67th percentile

Data is from measuring a large number of heifers of various breeds throughout the United States during 1991 and 1992

Calculations are done by PennState Extension at the College of Agricultural Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, and updated in 2017

For commercial productions, cows weigh usually 900 to 1,350 pounds at slaughter

The average cattle weight at slaughter will depend on customer demands, which determine the age range and weight of cattle

Source: Dickinson Research Extension Center data on herds

For example, Angus beef cattle weigh around 1,200 pounds at slaughter, with a carcass weight of 750 pounds (hanging weight, “on the rail”)

However, cattle have variations in body size, and customer demands are always different

Some want meat from younger cows, as it is generally more tender, and some want veal meat, which is meat from a calf that is 6 months or younger

Average cow weight at slaughter can therefore be on any point of the spectrum of this range of weights

If you’re looking to get into the beef production business, the sole source of your income will come from calves produced each year, which is why it is important that your cows produce a calf at least every 12 months


You can start at PennState Extension beef production guidelines

According to South Dakota State University Extension, the expected yield for retail cuts from beef carcasses ranges from 55% to 75%, depending on the fatness, muscling of the animal, and the type of cuts you produce

The carcass weight is usually between 600 and 900 pounds

Steaks usually come from a steer (castrated male) or a heifer (female that hasn’t been bred), while meat from cows is usually ground up into processed meats

The US beef industry is focused mostly on producing steers for meat consumption

Dairy cows are better utilized in producing milk

Because of their inability to dress out nicely (give large quantities of quality meat), the cow is graded low by the USDA and normally goes to auction and slaughter for processed meat

One of the most popular cattle breeds, Angus, has been used for a long time because it gives lots of prime-grade meat, good marbling, etc

If you start with a 1,200 steer (a castrated male), which has a typical dressing of 63%, that’s about 750-pound carcass

From that, you will get about 65% of carcass weight (on average), about 490 pounds of trimmed beef

If we calculate that against live weight, you get an average of 40%, with fatness being around 12% of live weight

How much meat a cow will yield depends on the breed, age, and diet

Once again, for those unfamiliar, steaks generally come from steer (male cows) while the meat from female cows is generally ground up and considered lower grade

Let’s take a look at two examples and the amount of meat you can get

If we use the example above for a 1,200 pounds steer, from SDSU Extension, and cut the carcass into primarily boneless steaks and roasts, we would get (on average):

90 pounds of boneless chuck roasts and steaks (10-12% of carcass weight)

85 pounds of round roasts and steaks (10-12% of carcass weight)

80 pounds of rib and loin steaks (10-12% of carcass weight)

50 pounds of other cuts (brisket, flank, short ribs, skirt steak)

and 185 pounds of lean trim, or ground beef (20-25% of carcass weight)

18 pounds of strip loin steaks (25%),

9 pounds of tenderloin steaks or filets (25%),

in general, less than 3% per individual type of steak

Their average hanging weight, also called “on the rail” is 61%, for a 1,000 pounds steer, which is 610 lbs of beef

Further weight loss for meat accounts for 18%, which leaves you with 430 pounds of meat that would go into retail cuts (steaks, roasts, ground beef, etc )

Sirloin (sirloin steak, stew and ground beef) – 387 lbs

short loin (porterhouse steak, T-bone steak) – 344 lbs

flank (flank steak, short ribs) – 172 lbs

short plate (skirt steak, short ribs) – 301 lbs

chuck (chuck roast or steak, arm roast) – 1075 lbs

These are just the averages, and the actual live weight to retail cuts yield varies, depending on breed, fat to muscle ratio, age, cutting order, etc

In general, raising a cow for meat can be more expensive than purchasing beef from a grocery store or butcher, as it involves significant upfront costs for things like feed, fencing, and veterinary care

However, for those who have access to land and are willing to invest the time and resources into raising their own cattle, the cost can be offset by the benefits of having a source of fresh, locally-raised beef

Additionally, for those who are interested in sustainable agriculture and animal welfare, raising their own cattle can provide peace of mind that the meat they are consuming was produced in an ethical and sustainable manner

The amount of land needed to support 20 cows will depend on several factors, including the breed and size of the cows, the climate, and the type of management system being used

A general rule of thumb is to provide each cow with around 1 to 2 acres of land, although this can vary depending on the specific needs of the cows and the available resources

In a pasture-based system, where the cows are mostly grazing on grass, a smaller amount of land per cow may be sufficient

However, in a feedlot system, where the cows are mostly consuming grains and other feed, a larger amount of land per cow may be necessary to provide adequate space for the animals and to manage waste

The heaviest breed of a cow in the world is Chianina, which can weigh up to 3,500 pounds when mature, or 1500kg

Parthenais cows, which are native to France, can also grow to be quite large, with some individuals reaching over 2,000 pounds

These breeds are primarily used for beef production and are known for their large size and strength

The smallest breed of cows in the world is the Dexter cow, which originated in Ireland

Dexter cows are a small, hardy breed that typically weigh between 600 and 900 pounds and stand about 42 to 48 inches tall at the shoulder

Despite their small size, Dexter cows are known for their agility and intelligence, making them popular for hobby farms and small homesteads

They are also prized for their high-quality meat, milk, and hides

A 500-pound cow can produce around 330 pounds of retail meat cuts, including steaks, roasts, and ground beef

The exact amount of meat produced will depend on factors such as the age, breed, and feeding regimen of the cow

A 1000-pound cow can produce approximately 660 pounds of retail cuts of meat

Again, this is an estimate, and the actual amount of meat produced may vary

Similalry, a 1200-pound cow can produce around 792 pounds of retail cuts of meat

A single cow may not be able to live sustainably on one acre of land, as they require a certain amount of space, food, and resources to thrive

A general rule of thumb is to provide at least two to three acres of land per cow

One cow can provide approximately 715 pounds of beef, around 2,145 to 2,400 meals, assuming an average portion size of approximately 4 to 6 ounces of beef per meal

The price of 200 pounds of beef can vary depending on many factors, including the location, quality, and type of meat

On average, 200 pounds of beef can cost anywhere from $600 to $1,200 or more

It’s no doubt that everyone marvels at the size of cows when they’re seen grazing on pastures or banding together in herds, as they appear to have large muscle mass compared to most farm animals

A typical cow weighs 1,300 pounds

Heifers, or baby cows, weigh 65 to 90 pounds at birth

Beef cows weigh an average of 1,200 pounds while dairy cows are approximately 1,500 pounds

However, cow weight varies depending on the breed of the dairy or beef cow

This article will provide you with information you need to know about how much cows weigh depending on type, breed, and age, how to raise cows for personal consumption or commercial use, and the best cow breeds for homesteading

Can You Keep a Cow in Your Backyard?How Much Space Do You Need for 1 Cow?At What Age Do You Butcher a Cow?How Long Do You Raise a Cow Before Slaughter?How Much Does the Average Cow Weigh?How Much Does a Baby Cow Weigh?How Much Does a Full-Grown Cow Weigh?How Much Does a Beef Cow Weigh?How Much Does a Cow Elk Weigh?How Much Does a Dairy Cow Weigh?How Much Does a Miniature Cow Weigh?How Much Does Half a Cow Weigh?What Else Do I Need to Know About Raising Cows?Which Breeds of Cows Are Good for Homesteading?Mini CowsGuernsey CowsAngus CowsSimmental CowsJersey CowsHereford Cows

You can keep a cow in your backyard as long as you properly feed and manage it

You can even raise it for dairy, meat production, or both

In fact, many countries rely on household cattle for their milk and meat supply

In the United States, backyard livestock owners in urban and peri-urban areas have greatly increased over the last decade according to this study

Backyard cows are usually raised in sheds or small enclosures

Under the right living conditions, a dairy cow can make 6 to 12 gallons of milk a day while an 880-pound cow carcass can produce 410 to 585 pounds of meat

How Much Space Do You Need for 1 Cow?

The backyard shed or barn space for a single cow should be about 20 to 30 square feet if the cow has access to foraging grounds

Otherwise, they would need 35 to 50 square feet for a beef-producing cow and up to 100 square feet for a dairy cow

For commercial farms and pastures, each cow should have a minimum of 18 acres of space with enough forage grounds for them to cover

At What Age Do You Butcher a Cow?

The slaughter age of cows is around 12 to 36 months of age, but it depends on the quality grade butchers and slaughterhouses are going for

Below is a chart showing the different quality grades for slaughtering cows, their age requirement, and qualifications:

Quality GradeAge RequirementQualificationsChoice30 to 42 months Moderately thick fat covers the rump, back, ribs, loin, and crops while the brisket, cod, and flanks are full and have firm muscles

SelectUp to 30 months Thin fat covers the loin and back

Brisket, cod, flanks, and twist are slightly full and have slightly firm musclesStandard30 to 42 monthsVery thin fat covering the loin, back, and ribs

CommercialOver 42 monthsSlightly thick (for cows aged a little over 42 months) to moderately thick fat (for very mature cows) covering the rump, back, ribs, and loin

*Note: Cows are ineligible for the prime, cutter, and canner quality grades

How Long Do You Raise a Cow Before Slaughter?

How Much Does the Average Cow Weigh?

According to animal specialists, the latest estimates in 2016 stated that the average cow weighs 1,300 pounds

The average weight of cows has increased since 1950 due to changes in the environment, feed resources, and management systems, which include a cow’s feed intake and body maintenance

Average cow weight was 1,000 pounds in 1950, 1,047 pounds in 1975, and 1,369 pounds in 2005

During the early 1990s through 2004, there was a rapid increase in cow weight which is linked to changes in body composition and not frame size

Genetic trends analysis shows that muscularity, carcass weights, and back fat have increased over time which, in turn, also increases cow weight

How Much Does a Baby Cow Weigh?

Heifer weight at birth depends on the breed, but in general, baby cows weigh about 65 to 90 pounds

It takes about 2 years for baby cows to reach their full mature weight

However, they reach their desired breeding age at around 13 to 15 months

Here’s a chart showing the different cow breeds and their body weight ranges:

Age (months)HolsteinJerseyBrown SwissGuernseyAyrshireMilking Shorthorn182 to 143 93 to 108134 to 163122 to 143131 to 154128 to 1602113 to 238122 to 146187 to 223166 to 193177 to 205175 to 2103149 to 284155 to 177240 to 283203 to 233223 to 256223 to 2624189 to 339183 to 217293 to 343255 to 299269 to 307272 to 3155218 to 411233 to 278345 to 403299 to 354315 to 357320 to 37010422 to 776391 to 483597 to 694511 to 588538 to 602564 to 65312504 to 843471 to 548693 to 805576 to 674624 to 697658 to 76513504 to 913500 to 571739 to 859 643 to 756666 to 743705 to 82015582 to 931565 to 640829 to 963740 to 866748 to 834794 to 926

How Much Does a Full-Grown Cow Weigh?

Full-grown or mature cows that are grown in continuous breeding systems weigh 1,100 to 1,300 pounds

Their carcasses will then produce about 700 to 850 pounds of meat, while milk outputs are expected to be 1 to 3 gallons a day for beef cows and 6 to 8 gallons for dairy cows

Beef cows typically weigh an average of about 1,200 pounds, but it varies per beef cow breed

Here are the different beef cow breeds and their mature weight ranges:

Beef Cow BreedMature Weight (in pounds)Angus1,000 to 1,300Hereford1,200 to 1,800Brahman1,000 to 1,400Beef Shorthorn1,450 to 1,800Simmental1,500 to 2,000Charolais1,250 to 1,600Red Poll1,200 to 1,650Limousin1,400 to 1,900South Devon1,000 to 1,300 Gelbvieh1,600 to 1,800Chianina1,700 to 2,200

How Much Does a Cow Elk Weigh?

A fully mature elk cow weighs between 500 to 600 pounds, with a height of 45 feet at the shoulder

It is important to know that, like cattle, female elks are referred to as cows, while male elks are called bulls

The average weight for mature dairy cows is approximately 1,500 pounds, but it varies slightly per cow breed

Here are the different dairy cow breeds and their mature weight ranges:

Dairy Cow BreedMature Weight (in pounds)Holstein1,300 to 1,500Jersey800 to 1,200Brown Swiss1,300 to 1,400Guernsey1,200 to 1,300Ayrshire1,200 to 1,400Milking Shorthorn1,250 to 1,400

How Much Does a Miniature Cow Weigh?

Depending on the breed, the average weight range for miniature cows is 450 to 850 pounds, which is about one-third to half the size of a standard-sized cow

The table below shows the weight ranges of different miniature cow breeds:

Miniature Cow BreedMature Weight (in pounds)Lowline Angus700 to 1,100Hereford650 to 1,000Jersey500 to 800Zebu300 to 500Texas Longhorn350 to 800Dexter660 to 780Belted Galloway500 to 700Highland400 to 600

How Much Does Half a Cow Weigh?

Since the average cow weighs 1,300 pounds, half a cow would weigh 650 pounds

Half a beef cow would weigh an average of 600 pounds, while half a dairy cow is 750 pounds

What Else Do I Need to Know About Raising Cows?

Since cows can either be raised for milk and meat production, for personal or commercial uses, as well as simply for selling their calves and heifers, know which one you’re going for before investing in cows since raising cows will depend on your purpose

Milk production is more costly compared to beef production

However, if you’re raising them for your benefit, simply weigh the costs and benefits of raising cows

Which Breeds of Cows Are Good for Homesteading?

Miniature cows are more manageable compared to standard-sized cows because of their size

They’re perfect for backyards with not a lot of space as they only require half an acre for each cow

They can also be prone to having bad temperaments, depending on how you raise them

Guernsey cows are highly adaptable and can live in varying climates, under different management strategies, and can thrive in both confined spaces and pastures

Their milk is also ideal for cheese processing, which gives you a dual purpose when homesteading

Angus Cows

Angus cows are popular and renowned cows for their muscular bodies that are perfect for meat production

They’re the ideal breed for homesteading since they provide both beef and milk

However, they require a lot of space as they naturally live in pastures

Simmental cows are also adaptable as they have been grown in both small, rural areas to extensive farming operations

They’re also used for their breeding capabilities as they produce high beef yields

Simmental cows are, overall, a good choice

Jersey Cows

Jersey cows are another adaptable breed as they can survive under any farm management system, whether they’re in small areas or pastures

They’re also known for having great quality milk which contains more calcium and protein content compared to other breeds

Hereford Cows

Herefords are characterized by their fast growth rates, longevity, docile temperament, and great beef quality

If you’re in a bind, Hereford cows are the ideal cows for you and your homesteading plans

In conclusion, cows weigh an average of 1,300 pounds, while heifers weigh 65 to 90 pounds at birth, beef cows are 1,200 pounds, and dairy cows are 1,500 pounds

Miniature Cattle: For Real, for Pets, for Production

Monitoring Dairy Heifer Growth

Small-Scale and Backyard Livestock Owners Needs Assessment in the Western United States

Beef Cattle Browsing – March 2016

Implications of Cow Size Change

An average cow weighs between 800lbs and 1400lbs (approximately 360kg –  635kg), although cow weight varies depending on the breed and age of the cow

The largest cattle breeds can weigh up to 3500lbs (1600kg)

Males tend to weigh more than females, and beef cows tend to weigh more than dairy cows

In this article, we’re going to break down average cow weights across various breeds of cattle, learn how much cows weigh at different ages, and look at some things that influence the weight of cattle

According to the USDA, the average weight of all adult cattle at the point of slaughter was 1371lbs (621 kg)

Cattle are usually slaughtered when their weight is as high as possible to maximize profits, so this figure is not a true reflection of the average weight of all living cows

To find the average weight of all cows, we’ll look at the average weight of the most common breeds and work out a rough average weight for all cows based on the popularity of each breed

Distribution of Beef/Dairy Cattle in the USA

Distribution of Beef/Dairy Cattle in the USA

In the United States, the total cattle inventory for 2021 was 936 million head of cattle

According to the US Dept of Agriculture, around 406 million of the total cattle in the United States are adults, with the remainder being made up of calves

Of the 406 million adult cattle in the United States, there are 312 million beef cattle and 94 million dairy cattle

This means that around 77% of adult cattle are beef cattle and 23% are dairy cattle

Source: US Dept of Agriculture 2021 Cattle Report

Number (Head of Cattle)Percentage of Adult CattleTotal Adult Cattle40,600,000100%Beef Cattle31,200,000768%Dairy Cattle9,400,000232%

For the average weight of a dairy cow, we will look at the weight of the Friesian-Holstein breed, since this particular breed makes up over 94% of all dairy cattle in the United States

According to Pennsylvania State University, the median weight of an adult Friesian-Holstein dairy cow is 1,200lbs at 24 months

Dairy cattle usually weigh less than beef cattle, since dairy cows devote a large part of their energy to producing milk, and their lean, efficient bodies mean they don’t have to waste energy on maintaining large muscles

According to data from the USDA’s Germplasm Evaluation Report which is conducted annually, the average weight of adult beef cattle across all breeds is 1,390lbs

Beef cattle are usually larger than dairy cattle because they have been selectively bred for size and muscle, whereas dairy cattle have been selected for milk production and as a result have thinner, weaker bodies

Read More: Do Cows Like Being Milked?

According to the data, an average adult beef cow is around 190lbs (86kg) heavier than an average adult dairy cow

Average Weight of Cows

Average Weight of Cows

Using the average weight of dairy cows (1200lbs) and beef cows (1390lbs), and the distribution of dairy to beef cattle provided by the USDA, we can work out the average weight of all adult cows

The average weight of all adult living cattle in the United States is 1,345lbs or 610kg

This is made up of 768% beef cattle, which weigh 1390lbs on average, and 232% dairy cattle, which weigh 1,200lbs on average

This figure is less than the average slaughter weight of cattle, which is 1371lbs (621kg)

Cow weight is influenced by several factors, including the breed of cattle, their diet, whether they are male or female (males tend to be larger), and how old they are

Let’s take a look at a few of these and see how they influence a cow’s weight:

Cow weight is strongly influenced by their breed, with some miniature breeds weighing as little as 600lbs, compared to some breeds specifically bred for draft weighing in at over 3,000lbs

Beef cattle breeds like Angus and Hereford tend to weigh more than dairy breeds like Holstein and Jersey, but the largest breeds are the draft breeds like the mighty Chianna and Limousin, whose large weight can be attributed to the fact that they have been selectively bred for generations to increase their strength as much as possible

BreedAverage Weight (Cows)Average Weight (Bulls)Angus1210lbs (549kg)1870lbs (848kgs)Hereford1200lbs (544kg)1800lbsLimousin1650lbs (750kg)2530lbs (1150kg)

Source: https://enwikipediaorg/wiki/Category:Cattle_breeds

Cows’ diet influences their weight, with certain high-density feeds like corn, oats, barley, and soy helping cows to grow more quickly compared to a natural diet of grass, which is less nutrient-dense

It goes without saying that cows become heavier as they age, but it’s not always obvious just how drastic a cow’s growth can be

State University, some cattle can grow at a staggering rate of up to 45lb (2kg) every day

Cow calves are around 90lbs when they are born, and achieve their full adult weight after around two years

Read More: How Long Do Cows Live?

Male cattle are heavier than female cattle, due to their larger heads, denser bones, and higher muscle to fat ratio

Within males, bulls tend to be larger than steers, and male beef cattle tend to be larger than male dairy cattle

Read Next: How much does it cost to butcher a cow?

To sum up, the average cow weighs between 800 and 1400lbs, although their weight varies drastically by breed and depending on their diet, age, and sex

In the United States, the average weight of a beef cow is 1,390lbs, the average weight of a dairy cow is 1,200lbs, and the average weight of all adult cows is approximately 1345lbs (610kg)

When cows are slaughtered, their weight is higher than the average weight of an adult cow

The average live weight of a slaughtered cow in the US is 1,371lbs (621kg)

This makes sense, since cows are usually slaughtered when they are at their heaviest, to maximize the meat yield

Stuart is passionate about sustainable farming and animal welfare and has written extensively on cows and geese for the site

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