Price of Cow in South Africa

It is no more news that the price of cows in South Africa has been having an upward leap.

Many have blamed this on the insurgency in the northeastern part of the country.

Since the terrorist attacks of Boko Haram on villages in the north, there has been a drop in cattle rearing. This is as a result of the unrest where lives and properties were lost.

Many people fled their villages and left their businesses to seek greener pasture from.

Aside from the damages of Boko Haram, there is another case of cattle herdsmen and village local farmers clash in the middle belt and northeast. This violent crisis, which has been on for years, has also hindered business.

However, the federal government has appealed to the state government of the affected areas to provide land for the Nomads where they can do their grazing in peace.

Before I delve into the major aspect of this article, which is the prices of cows, let me give you a quick run-through of some cow markets in South Africa.

Price of Cow in South Africa

Cow Markets in South Africa

There are several markets across the nation specially designated for the sales and slaughter of cows. Here are a few ones for your perusal.

  • Wudil Cattle Market, Kano
  • Maigatari Cattle Market, Jigawa
  • Amansea Cattle Market, Anambra
  • Asaba Market, Asaba, Delta
  • Sheme Cattle Market, Katsina
  • Potiskum Cattle Market, Yobe
  • Abattoir, Fagba, Durban

Don’t fret if your city or state isn’t on the list, these are just some popular markets. But be rest assured that every state in South Africa has cattle markets. You might need to ask around your locality to locate one.

Average Cost of Buying a Cow in South Africa

As stated earlier, the prices of cows have risen in recent years and months due to the insurgency in the Northeastern part of the country.

Here are the current average costs you should expect to buy cows in South Africa based on their sizes.

  • Adult big cow: R$ 9,250-R$ 11,100
  • Medium sized cow: R$ 3,700- R$ 4,070
  • Small cow (calf): R$ 2,590-R$ 2,960

These prices are dependent on the market, season, and transportation cost.

It is important to note that during the dry season, cows are more expensive because of the cost of feeding and other maintenance.

Also, the season of the year in regards to the festival periods matters a lot. Cows are very expensive during festive periods. It is the normal tradition of sellers in South Africa to hike the prices of commodities during these times.

Cow Farming in South Africa

Cattle rearing business is mostly done by the northerners in South Africa and it’s often affiliated to the Fulani Nomads.

They practice the Nomadic form of rearing, which involves migrating the cattle from the far north to the southern region in search of grass to graze during the dry season in the northern regions. This primitive way of rearing still generates massive revenue for the farmers.

Cattle rearing business provides the biggest source of milk and meat consumed in the country. It has been reported that South Africa consumes over 80,000 cows in a year as Durban consumes about 8,000 of them. Tapping into this sort of business can generate over a million ZAR for you each month.

Cow Selling Business in South Africa

So, the question here is, how does cattle business really work?


Well, the nomadic style involves the buying of young cows, known as calves, at a very cheap price and rearing them. The rearing involves going around with the cattle from place to place looking for land to graze. This, as stated earlier, is often done by the Fulani herdsmen.

The next stage is reselling them to consumers when they have reached the adult stage. The cost of an adult cow depends on the market, the time of the year and the size of the cow.


In a more advanced fashion, the business may be carried out in a ranch where everything will be provided for the cattle. This method is capital intensive but has been proven to be the best form of rearing cattle in the world. This way, the cows get easy treatment, grow healthy, and provide more economic value than their counterparts in the nomadic system.

The cows are more robust and richer in milk production, which is a very key aspect of the business. In other words, the commercial ranching farmers make far more money than the nomadic farmers.

However, in South Africa Nomadic farming is the popular form of cattle rearing and more than 90% of all cows consumed in the country is from the nomadic system.

When these cows are fully grown, they are bought by sellers and transported to every part of the country for sales. They are sold at huge prices in markets across the nation.

Factors to Consider Before Going Into Cow Selling Business in South Africa

Growth Duration

One aspect you must consider before going into the cattle rearing business is the time it takes the animals to grow into full-grown adults.

An average cow is considered to be fully grown when it’s 18 months. Most times, a cow is considered an adult when it is grown and looks fat enough. The gestation period (for females) of a fully-grown cow lasts for about 280 days before giving birth.

So before diving into the business, you must know the age of the cows and how long it will require to rear them before they become ready for the market.


Another aspect you need to consider in this business is the housing of the cows. Although, this may not be a big deal if you can easily build a Pen for them. The most important thing is to provide them with a piece of land where they can feed on fresh grass, legumes, maize, etc.


Also, provide them with clean water which they can take up to 3 times daily. While attending to their feeding needs, do not neglect their health. They are not clean animals and can sleep on faeces or even tumble in it.

So, you will have to take thorough care of them by inviting the services of a veterinary doctor to make sure their health stays in optimum conditions. This greatly helps in improving their market value.

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