Price of Cow in South Africa

The agricultural landscape in South Africa is witnessing a significant shift, particularly in the livestock sector. The price of cows has seen a notable increase, a trend that has sparked discussions across the nation.

The Impact of Regional Instability

The northeastern regions of South Africa have faced challenges due to insurgency, affecting the cattle rearing industry. The attacks by Boko Haram have led to a decline in cattle production, as many farmers have abandoned their livelihoods in search of safety. This has inevitably contributed to the escalation of cow prices.

In addition to the insurgency, conflicts between cattle herdsmen and local farmers have disrupted the agricultural activities in the middle belt and northeast. The government’s response, proposing grazing lands for Nomads, aims to mitigate these issues and restore stability to the industry.

Exploring Cow Markets in South Africa

South Africa boasts a variety of cattle markets, each serving as a hub for the sale and slaughter of cows. Some of the notable markets include:

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

These markets are just a glimpse of the extensive network across the country, ensuring that every state has access to livestock trade.

Average Cost of Buying a Cow in South Africa

The prices of cows vary based on size, market conditions, and seasonal factors. Here’s a breakdown of the average costs:

Size of CowAverage Price Range (ZAR)
Adult Big Cow9,250 – 11,100
Medium Sized Cow3,700 – 4,070
Small Cow (Calf)2,590 – 2,960

Note that during the dry season and festive periods, prices tend to rise due to increased maintenance costs and traditional price hikes.

Cow Farming in South Africa

Cattle rearing is predominantly managed by the northerners, particularly the Fulani Nomads. They practice a nomadic lifestyle, moving cattle in search of grazing land. This sector is a major contributor to the country’s supply of milk and meat, with Durban alone consuming approximately 8,000 cows annually. Engaging in this business can potentially yield over a million ZAR per month.

Cow Selling Business in South Africa

The cattle business operates in two main styles:


This involves purchasing calves at a low cost, rearing them through grazing, and eventually selling the adult cows. The Fulani herdsmen are known for this method.


A more modern approach involves ranching, where cattle are provided with all necessary resources. This method is more capital intensive but yields healthier cows with better economic value.

Despite the advancements, nomadic farming remains the dominant form of cattle rearing in South Africa.

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

Growth Duration

Understanding the growth cycle of cows is crucial. An average cow reaches adulthood at 18 months, with a gestation period of about 280 days.


Proper housing and access to grazing land are essential for the well-being of the cows.


Regular veterinary care is vital to maintain the health and market value of the cows.


The cattle industry in South Africa is a dynamic sector with various factors influencing the price of cows. From regional instability to seasonal changes, understanding these elements is key for anyone looking to venture into the cow selling business. With proper management and consideration of the factors outlined, this industry holds promising opportunities for growth and profitability.