How Much Milk Does a Cow Produce In A Day? What You Can Expect

A dairy cow produces an average of 6 to 8 gallons of milk per day while a beef cow only produces an average of 1 gallon of milk per day. The best milk yields from a cow are achieved by ensuring that the cow receives the best nutrition, welfare, and milking hygiene.

This article will cover milk production volumes by different species, why some species produce more milk, how to increase milk production in cattle herds, and fluctuations in milk volumes during the year.

Typical Milk Volumes By Species

Fresian Holstein6-9
Brown Swiss8
Milking Shorthorn9
Red and White Holstein8
Aberdeen Angus2
Belted Galloway1
Estonian Red3-4
North Devon3-4
Irish Moiled4
Norwegian Red5
Red Sindhi2

Why Do Some Species Produce More Milk?

Variation in milk production in different cow species is due to:

1. Genetic Background

Different cow species have gone through a genetic improvement process that involves the selection of individuals from a flock with outstanding traits to contribute to the breeding objective of the flock, in this case, high milk production.

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2. Climatic Conditions

Heat stress is a major factor that contributes to low milk yields. Cow species that are in areas affected by high-temperature climates tend to eat less feed which in turn leads to low milk production.

3. Diseases

Areas affected by a wave of diseases make the cow species in that area reduce their feed intake thus lowering the amount of milk produced.

4. Nutrition

Feeding programs have a huge impact on the overall performance of cow species.

How To Increase Milk Volumes In Your Herd

There are several steps that one can take to increase cow’s milk in the herd including:

  • Providing high-quality feed such as alfalfa hay and green fodder
  • Providing adequate clean and fresh drinking water
  • Ensuring daily intake of mineral supplements
  • Ensuring the herd gets enough rest and comfort to increase blood flow to the udder for high milk yields
  • Feeding of concentrates to increase energy levels
  • Ensuring correct milking procedures to keep the cow’s udder healthy to prevent issues such as mastitis
  • Practicing pest and disease control measures to reduce cases of low milk yields
  • Ensuring proper nutrition and management during the dry period by optimizing comfort and avoiding overfeeding feeds with high energy levels
  • Optimizing adequate and healthy feed intake immediately the cow calves

Fluctuations In Milk Volumes During The Year

Fluctuations in milk production during the year can be attributed to factors such as:

Climate: An increase or decrease in temperature affects the feed intake of cow species hence affecting milk yield.

Lactation Stage: Different cow species have different lactation cycles.

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Feeding Routines: Availability of feed greatly affects milk yield because enough supply of feed will contribute to high milk yield while low supply results in less milk.

Age: Young cows produce more milk compared to older cows.

Dry period: The amount of time a cow is left to ‘dry’ has a great impact on how much milk it will produce during lactation.


How Much Milk Does A Holstein Cow Give Per Day?

Being a true dairy cow, a healthy Holstein cow can produce almost 9 gallons of milk per day, equalling around 2,674 gallons or 23,000 pounds of milk.

How Many Gallons Of Milk Does A Jersey Cow Produce Per Day?

A healthy Jersey cow can produce an average of 6 gallons of milk per day. The milk has a butterfat content of 4.9% which is the highest. This makes the milk ideal for making dairy products such as butter and ice cream.

How Much Milk Will A Cow Give Per Day?

According to National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), an average dairy cow in the US produced 24,000 pounds of milk in 2021. This milk yield is for each lactation which lasts 305 days so the milk yield is around 78 pounds.

This means that the average milk a cow can produce is 8 gallons per day.


Tabitha is a writer and farmer, living on a farm where she helps in raising cows, dairy goats, sheep, chickens, and ducks while growing vegetables and fruit. She is passionate about good food, nature and is a firm believer in raising animals in a way that’s sustainable and humane.

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