Holsteins are large, stylish animals with color patterns of black and white or red and white. A healthy Holstein calf weighs 90 pounds or more at birth. A mature Holstein cow weighs about 1,500 pounds and stands 58 inches tall at the shoulder. Holstein heifers can be bred at 13 months of age, when they weigh about 800 pounds. It is desirable to have Holstein females calve for the first time between 23 and 26 months of age. Holstein gestation is approximately nine months. While some cows may live considerably longer, the average productive life of a Holstein is approximately four years.
The 2017 average actual production for all U.S. Holstein herds that were enrolled in production-testing programs and eligible for genetic evaluations was 25,676 pounds of milk, 963 pounds of butterfat and 799 pounds of protein per year.
Top producing Holsteins milked three times a day have been known to produce over 72,000 pounds of milk in 365 days.