How to guesstimate the age of a cow?

Several methods are used to estimate the age of cattle. The most common one being through dentition or the teeth method. You examine the teeth of the cows noting the time of appearance and the extent of wearing out. The cow’s teeth wears down as she ages and become more triangular in shape. 

Why is estimating the age of a cow important?

  • To assist in assessing the feeding management of young heifers
  • To avoid buying old cows as replacement cows – may lead to unproductivity.

At maturity, cattle have 32 teeth, eight of which are incisors in the lower jaw. The two central incisors are known as pinchers; the third pair are called second intermediates or laterals; and the outer pair are known as the corners. There are no upper incisor teeth; only the thick, hard dental pad.

At birth to one month
 


The temporary or milk teeth, can be differentiated from permanent teeth by their smaller size and whiter color. Two or more of the temporary incisor teeth are present. Within the first month, the entire eight temporary incisors appear.

At 2 years
 

As a long-yearling, the central pair of temporary incisor teeth or pinchers is replaced by the permanent pinchers. At 2 years, the central permanent incisors attain full development.

At 2-2.5 years

Permanent first intermediates, one on each side of the pinchers, are cut. Usually these are fully developed at 3 years.

At 3-3.5 years
 

The second intermediates or laterals are cut. They are on a level with the first intermediates and begin to wear at 4 years.

At 4-4.5 years

 

 
The corner teeth are replaced. At 5 years the animal usually has the full complement of incisors with the corners fully developed.

At 5-6 years
 

The permanent pinchers are levelled, both pairs of intermediates are partially levelled, and the corner incisors show wear.

At 7-10 years
 

At 7 or 8 years the pinchers show noticeable wear; at 8 or 9 years the middle pairs show noticeable wear; and at 10 years, the corner teeth show noticeable wear.

At 12 years
 

After the animal passed the sixth year, the arch gradually loses its rounded contour and becomes nearly straight by the twelfth year. In the meantime, the teeth gradually become triangular in shape, distinctly separated, and show progressive wearing to stubs. These conditions become more marked with increasing age.
 

 

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0 # pet shop online 2018-04-07 11:39
Thanks for sharing your thoughts about how to estimate age of cow.

Regards
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