Milk cows are typically bred at around fifteen months old. Cattle gestation periods are similar to those of humans – around nine months. So a cow will usually give birth around its second birthday. Most cows are bred once a year, and few are kept for longer than five years, so on average a cow will give birth four times before it’s led to slaughter. Artificial insemination is used on most farms today, so no bull is needed. Embryo transfer techniques allow multiple calves to be born using surrogate mothers.
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