In recent times, cow prices in Zambia have gone up drastically — no thanks to multiple factors such as insurgency and insecurity in Northern Zambia as well as increasing hostility against herdsmen in other parts of the country.
Before now, cow prices used to be affordable, going up only during the Eid-el-Kabir (salah or “ileya”) festival period due to expectable spikes in demand. But now, prices are high all year round due to the factors cited earlier.
In this post, we’d be looking at the current prices of cows in Zambia, as obtainable from cow markets in different parts of the country. We would also discuss other details regarding some of the factors influencing the prices of cows in Zambia.
So, if you’ve been asking the question, “how much is a cow in Zambia?”, you’re just on the right page. Read on to learn more.
Average Price of Cows in Zambia
|Small-sized cow (calf)||KW80,000 – KW100,000|
|Medium-size cow (150kg – 200kg)||KW150,000 – KW220,000|
|Big-size cow (220kg – 250kg)||KW230,000 – KW300,000|
|Very large cow (300kg – 350kg)||KW300,000 – KW450,000|
|Giant-sized cow (400kg – 550kg)||KW500,000 – KW700,000|
Note that the prices of cows in Zambia vary due to factors such as breed, the location of purchase, the age of the cow, the cost of rearing, the season of purchase, and so on.
For example, cow breeds that are reared for their meat tend to be more expensive than those reared for milk. Similarly a cow purchased at any of the big markets mentioned above would more likely cost cheaper than one purchased at other markets in the country. In addition, cow breeds that are more expensive to rear expectably sell for higher prices. And prices tend to go up during the dry season due to the increased cost of feeding and general care.
Needless to say, the prices of cows in Zambia usually skyrockets during the Sallah festive season due to the spike in demand.
Bear in mind, also, that in addition to the cost of buying a cow, you might have to cover other costs such as transportation to your desired location.
Top Cow Markets in Zambia
If you’re looking to buy cows in Zambia at the best prices obtainable, then you need to visit any of the biggest cow markets in the country. These include:
- Wudil cattle market, Kano State
- Sheme cattle market, Katsina State
- Potiskum cattle market, Yobe State
- Maitagari cattle market, Jigawa State
- Amansea cattle market in Anambra State
- Asaba cattle market, Delta State
Note that there are other big cattle markets all over Zambia, but the ones listed above are where you can get the cows at the best prices. If you’re not too close to any of the above-listed markets, you can make do with any cow market within your locality.
Cow Breeds in Zambia and Their Characteristics
One of the factors that determine the prices of cows in Zambia is their breed. Zambian abounds with different breeds of cows, and each breed is special in its own way. Let’s now look at some of the popular cow breeds in Zambia and the unique features that make each favored by farmers.
This breed of cows are also called Malike, Mandingo, and Boyenca in other parts of Africa. Although, they originate from Guinea in West Africa, cows of this breed are found in all parts of Africa.
With a carcass-to-meat ratio of 1:1, N’Dama cows are not big in appearance, but they are rich in lean meat. Their meat has a pleasant flavour and has very low fat. You can easily identify them with their typically short height, light colors (grey, light brown, etc.) and short hair.
If you’re looking to keep N’Dama cows for milk, you’d be disappointed, as they produce very little milk (just 2-3 litres daily). They are reared majorly for their meat.
Also called “Bunaji”, this breed of cows originated from West Africa — Zambia precisely. They typically have wide-set long horns and sport light skin colors. Because they can lactate for over 200 days every year, they are widely reared for their milk. In addition, their bodies are also very rich in meat. This dual advantage explains why they are among the most widely reared cow breeds in Zambia.
White Fulani cows are very tolerant to heat and sunlight and can withstand walking over long distances more than other breeds. They are also highly resistant to diseases and infections. These explain why they are widely preferred by farmers in regions with harsh weather conditions.
Also called “Mbororo”, this breed of cows is particularly popular among the Fulani tribe in Northern Zambia. These cows are reared mainly for their meat. And as their name implies, they typically spot reddish brown colors and lomg horns.
Red Bororo cows are well adapted to the Fulanis’ nomadic lifestyle as well as long months of lack of rainfall. They are easy to coordinate in herds and can walk very long distances without getting tired.
If you see a cow with very short horns (more like stumps), chances are it’s of the Sokoto Gudali breed. This is one of the most widely reared cow breeds in Zambia. While they sport various colours, black or white are the most common colours. These cows tend to grow to become huge and they have the dual advantage of being rich in both meat and milk.
One major downside of this breed of cows is their subfertility. The female typically gives birth to only one calf at a time. And worse, they are notorious for stillbirths and miscarriages.
These cows are bred for their meaty bodies. But they are particulraly favored over other breeds due to their strength. And this explains why they are widely used for farm work. They are not reared for their milk because they produce very little amounts of milk. They propagate quickly and grow very fast.
Muturu cows typically have very short heights. In fact, they are about the shortest cows ever known, with an average adult height of just 95cm.