Prices of Cows in South Africa


Cows have long been acknowledged as a quantum of wealth across South Africa. The country has a rich legacy of cow provision. Cows were used in the past and even today to quantify peoples’ wealth. In some cultures, they were used to pay a bride price, called lobola.

Cattle rearing in the country is indeed a lucrative business. This is because you can make money from every part of cattle (that is: meat, milk, hide, cheese, hooves, etc.).

Production of cows takes place almost across the country, with different breeds being suited to different climatic conditions and areas. There is also a wide array of farmers that can be classified based on their earnings and specialization.

Prices of Cows in South Africa

Popularity of Cow meat in South Africa

Cow meat, popularly known as beef, is a common staple across South Africa. Most people of different cultures in the country consume beef as an everyday, regular type of topping for meals.

In South Africa, beef is not only a daily meal topping that can be taken anywhere and anytime, but it is also preferred for ceremonial meal topping. It is a common hallmark at parties and ceremonies, including birthdays, marriages, and burial rites.

In this post, we’d be looking at the general prices of cows in South Africa. These prices were drawn from cow markets in various parts of the country. We would also review other details regarding some of the factors influencing the prices of cows in South Africa. So, if you’ve been asking the question, “how much is a cow in South Africa?” you’re on the right page. Read on to learn more.

Average Price of Cows in South Africa

These are the prices of different types of cow in South Africa:

  • Bull Cow – R 7,500
  • Boer Cow – R 12,000
  • Heifer Cow – R 7,000
  • Nguni Cow – R 10,000
  • Stokvel Nkomo Cow – R 8,000
  • Dexter Cow – R 6,000
  • Jersey Cow – R 50,000
  • Nkomo Beste Cow – R 8,500
  • Brahman Bull Cow – R 22,000
  • Young Brahman Bull Cow – R 9,000

Note that the prices of cows in South Africa vary due to factors. These factors include breed, the locale of purchase, age of the cow, cost of rearing, time and season of purchase, etc. For example, cow breeds that are reared for their meat tend to be more costly than those reared for milk.

In addition, cow breeds that are more costly to rear expectably sell for higher prices. Prices tend to go up during the dry season due to the heightened cost of feeding and general care.

Cow Breeds in South Africa and Their Characteristics

One of the factors that determine the prices of cows in South Africa is their breed. The country is crowded with peculiar breeds of cows, and each breed is exceptional in its own way. Let’s look at some of the well-known cow breeds in South Africa and the lone features that make each favored by farmers.

Ø  Bull Cow

The bull cow is of the native South African breed of cattle known as the Afrikander. This breed is descended with very little amalgamation of the blood of the European breeds from the cattle Hottentots. It is very possible that the breed traces its origin to the mountain cattle which prevailed in Central Asia several thousand years ago. The Afrikander has many points of affinity with the Zebus of India, which also emanated in Central Asia.

Zebus were known in Egypt at least Three thousand years ago, as is proven by drawings dating from that time. Recently, the Afrikander breed has been introduced into the United States. It is hoped that it may serve as the foundation for a new breed specially adapted to the gulf regions of the United States. For this reason, the history of the breed has a special interest at this time.

Ø  Boer Cow

The advancement of the Boer cow was carried out by a handful of farmers in the Eastern Cape, particularly in the parcel of Somerset East. The mock-up for the breed was selected from several existing breeds of cows in South Africa in order to achieve the present functional characteristics and type.

Here’s a little fact about the Boer cow. It is a hardy breed with a great capacity for adaptation and an exceptional ability to withstand and resist diseases. The cow produces enough milk to raise twins easily.

Numerous countries had imported Boer cows from South Africa including the USA, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Israel, France and more recently China.

Ø  Nguni Cow

Nguni cow acquires their name from the tribes who historically farmed them known by the same name as the Nguni people. The cattle were originally spread across all the districts where this tribe settled. This includes along the east coast of Southern Africa in places such as Swaziland, KwaZulu Natal, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.

Unlike the other breeds, hide colors, patterns, and horn shapes are varied. The unique pigmentation on the hides protects them from the skin and eye cancer. It also turns their hides into a sought after by-product, used for making handbags, floor covers, and wall art. These cattle are gentle natured, making them easy to handle.

Their growth rate is also comparable with that of the Afrikaner and Brahman, while feed conversion exceeds that of most other breeds.

Ø  Jersey cow

It is typically light brown in color, though this can range from being almost grey to dull black, which is known as Mulberry. They can also have white patches that may cover much of the animal. A true Jersey will, however, always have a black nose bordered by an almost white muzzle.

The cow produces a pound of milk at a lower cost compared to the other major breeds. It also has little or no calving problems, greater fertility, a shorter calving interval, and earlier maturity. The Jersey breed stays in the herd longer than any other dairy breeds. Their milk has greater nutritional value, plus the highest yield and greater efficiency when processed into cheese and other value-added products.

Ø  Dexter Cow

Dexter cows are small-sized animals. They have a wide and deep body with well-rounded hindquarters. They appear in three colors which are red, brown and black. They should not have any white markings except for some very minor white markings on the belly/udder behind the navel and some white hairs in the tail switch.

Dexter cows can be either horned or polled. The horned version has small and thick horns that grow upward with a forward curve on the bulls and upward curve on the cows. They have relatively short legs.

They are usually easy-going in behavior and have pleasant temperaments. This breed is often known to eat weeds and unwanted vegetation and can thrive on low-quality pastures.

Ø  Brahman Bull Cow

The Brahman breed originated in the USA in the early 1800s where it was developed from the progeny of four Indian Zebu breeds.

Brahmans are characterized by a hump above the shoulders and a pronounced cheek. The coat is short and can be light to dark Grey, various shades of red, or black.  Brahmans are intelligent, inquisitive and shy. The breed is medium in size with a tendency to later maturity.


In this post, we have provided you the information about the prices of cows in South Africa. Along with this, we have discussed the various breeds of cows in the country and their characteristics. We hope this was helpful?