The average cow costs between $2,000 and $5,000. That said, there are many factors involved. Some cows have been sold for millions of dollars, though these aren’t your average cows.

Here, we look at some of the most expensive cows that were ever sold and why they were worth so much money.

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The 4 Most Expensive Cows in the World

1. Missy

Missy was a Holstein cow that was auctioned in 2009 for $1.2 million, making her the most expensive cow to be sold in the world.

She was 3 years old at the time of the sale. She had already proven herself to be an excellent show cow, which is likely why she was worth so much. She was easily considered the most valuable cow at the time, so no one was surprised that she sold for such an extensive amount.

She won the Supreme Grand Champion of all Breeds at the World Dairy Expo, one of the top titles that a show cow can win. She also won various other top titles, which contributed to her fame and value.

In 2012, she was named Holstein cow of the year.

Currently, her genetic material is being used to improve other Holstein cattle.

2. SAV America

SAV America is a bull that sold for $1.51 million. He was bred by Schaff Angus Valley, who has produced many record-breaking bulls over the last few decades. However, SAV America broke the record in 2019 as the most expensive bull ever sold.

He was sold to Herbster Angus Farm in Nebraska.

This bull also broke the 205-day weaning weight at 1,107 pounds. It is said that he always stood out, even before breeding. His long body and square hips set him apart from the other bulls. His personality was described as “gentle,” though, so he wasn’t nearly as scary as he looked.

This bull also ranked in the top 1% for yearling weight and carcass weight, which made him even more valuable.

Since the sale was actually for only 80% of the semen share, the actual value of SAV America is closer to $2.67 million.

The previous record for a bull was only $800,000.

3. Mist

Mist is a Holstein cow that was sold to investors for $1.3 million in 1985, which was the largest price paid for a cow at auction. Today, she is considered to be the matriarch of Holstein cows.

However, the cow wasn’t really for sale. Instead, the owner “sold” the cow to a group of investors to which he belonged. Therefore, he got paid for the cow but was still a stakeholder in the cow (it’s a bit complicated!).

Mist was a show cow. She produced milk with a high butterfat content and had an extensive pedigree. Her offspring also sold for quite a bit of money, and she was bred extensively in her lifetime. For this reason, she is considered to have founded a whole line of cattle.

4. Posh Spice

While Holstein cows are generally the most expensive cows, other breeds have their records. For instance, Posh Spice is a Limousin breed that sold for $360,000 in 2021, which broke the record for that breed.

This cow sold well, primarily because of her pedigree. She also looked excellent.

She was utilized for an IVF program, with her eggs being implanted into other cows. This process has enabled her to have many different calves.

Related: Pinzgauer Cattle



Cows are exceedingly expensive, and they are getting more expensive all the time. Therefore, don’t be surprised if the record gets broken again next year!

What makes a cow expensive is often their reproductive ability. Therefore, they are usually sold for the most money at the beginning of their lifespan.

Featured Image Credit: Maria Elisa Rol, Shutterstock