How many Cattle per acre?

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farmer rich

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CommercialCattleManTN":16pa31df said:
The general rule of thumb is 1 cow per acre on fescue orchard grass rye grass etc. If you run bermuda grass like I do. You can get 3-6 cows per acre. I run them like this all summer then in the winter rotational graze 48 acres of fescue. I have seen people put 10 cows per acre on bermuda and it worked nicely but I personally wouldn't try it.

Hello there CCMTN. Just a few questions fron an ignorant damned limey yankee ;-) .

Is that 3-6 cows rotationally grazed or set stocked?
How big are the cows?
What is the daily DM summer growth of bermuda grass in your area of TN?
Are the cows suckling calves?
Are those cows having any additional feed?
 

flaboy

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dun":3gk0625q said:
CommercialCattleManTN":3gk0625q said:
The general rule of thumb is 1 cow per acre on fescue orchard grass rye grass etc. If you run bermuda grass like I do. You can get 3-6 cows per acre. I run them like this all summer then in the winter rotational graze 48 acres of fescue. I have seen people put 10 cows per acre on bermuda and it worked nicely but I personally wouldn't try it.

That's a generality that doesn;t work. In your environemnt you may be able to run 1 per acre, other growing conditions dictate differing stocking rates.

dun

First I agree with Dun here. I know TN has some really good grasses but 3-6/acre seems a bit high for a few reasons that I can think of. Manure, cows don't like to eat where they have pooped. So, even if you have a great stand of grass, with that many on it, I suspect much will go uneaten after awhile. Another reason I think this is a high ratio for any grass stand is cross contamination would higher for worms and such because they may be forced to eat where they normally wouldn't. Now with that said, I do 3/1.5 acres for my replacements but I fertilize and rotate to another small field for a couple weeks, I also drag the fields when I rotate them into the other field. I also bag supplement and pound vitamins in them during this phase. Just my thoughts and I don't mean to infer your process doesn't work for you. Only you know that. ;-)
 
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Anonymous

The cows are grazed in 22 acres of bermuda grass during the summer months. Yes the cows are raising calves and they are suckling. The cows are rotationally grazed on 48 acres of fescue during summer and winter. They stay about 4 weeks in each area. This way I can try and utilize the grass that I have. Seems to work pretty good. They are fed Mcness Bovabreeder 9 supplement. In a mineral feeder. They are also fed a chrystalix lick with rabon fly control in it. In the winter time the cows are fed soybean meal, cottonseed, and Bermuda hay. Everything is working alright thus far. I can assure you that we are getting three cows per acre on the bermuda in the summer time. The most I have tried at one time is six. That is why I said I wouldnt try more. 6 worked okay for a little while but it wasnt a long term solution. Ive found that by rotationally grazing them for 4 weeks in each lot I get better grass management. I have a ritchie waterer in each lot that is rotationally grazed so they have a fresh supply of water at all times.
 

mbdear

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3 cows continously grazing an acre certainly would not work in the typical east texas pasture...but if a person ran 30 cows on 100 acres and the 100 acres were divided into 10 pastures of 10 acres each in a rotation program...when the cows were grazing each paddock in the rotation the stock density would be 3 cows per acre (the stocking rate would still be 1 cow per 3.33 acres)...the other nine pastures would be resting and regrowing...that would work in our area
 

farmer rich

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CommercialCattleManTN":2q4umhcl said:
The cows are grazed in 22 acres of bermuda grass during the summer months. Yes the cows are raising calves and they are suckling. The cows are rotationally grazed on 48 acres of fescue during summer and winter. They stay about 4 weeks in each area. This way I can try and utilize the grass that I have. Seems to work pretty good. They are fed Mcness Bovabreeder 9 supplement. In a mineral feeder. They are also fed a chrystalix lick with rabon fly control in it. In the winter time the cows are fed soybean meal, cottonseed, and Bermuda hay. Everything is working alright thus far. I can assure you that we are getting three cows per acre on the bermuda in the summer time. The most I have tried at one time is six. That is why I said I wouldnt try more. 6 worked okay for a little while but it wasnt a long term solution. Ive found that by rotationally grazing them for 4 weeks in each lot I get better grass management. I have a ritchie waterer in each lot that is rotationally grazed so they have a fresh supply of water at all times.

I'm not saying it doesn't work for you, but I think the biggest problem with keeping 3 cows/acre on the same ground for 4 weeks would be the amount of manure soiling the pasture, also such a long rotation would mean a lot of wasted grass when they were turned out on fresh ground, unless you strip graze.
 
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Anonymous

Dad gum it I cant type correctly. The 41 cows are grazed on 22 acres of bermuda in the summer time. In the winter time they are rotationally grazed on 48 acres of fescue in about 12 acre paddocks. In the winter time the cows are fed bermuda hay, cottonseed, soybean meal and Mcness BovaBreeder 9 supplement. They are also on a chrystalix lick with rabon in it for fly control. Granted the grazing methods work differently in every area. I have tried 6 cows per acre. It worked for a time but I knew it wasnt long term. In each of the paddocks I have ritcihie waterers so that they have a steady supply of water even throughout the winter. I also have a geothermal feeding pad in each of the paddocks to feed them on. Doing the rotational grazing of about 4 weeks in each paddock really helps the grass grow back quicker and its more manageable. I have a total of 70 acres and with the bermuda grass I think I could realistically run about 70 commercial cows. I could be wrong but I think this might be the case. I know I neglected to mention this but I also have 2 horses and a donkey on this land as well. I factor them into the equation as well. This past cutting of hay I got 120 round bales weighing 1200 a piece off the fescue alone. Have not counted yet the bales in the back 22 acres of bermuda. I feel as though I should however have enough hay to last through the winter at least.
 
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Anonymous

By the way one other thing that I forgot to mention the cows weigh on average 11-1200 pounds each.
 

dj

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CommercialCattleManTN
What is a geothermal feeding pad? And it's advantages?
 

farmer rich

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Thanks for that post CCMTN, very interesting.
Some folks in the UK use something similar called a standoff pad to overwinter cattle. Basically a large corall with drains running through a deep woodchip bed. Manure gets trod and washed into the chips where it is digested by bacteria living on the chips. It eliminates manure handling, although there is some effluent to spread.
http://www.drenagh.co.uk/corrals/corrals01.htm
 
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The feeding pad I have works well. I would say the one you are talking about would probably work well to.
 

dj

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CommercialCattleManTN
OK I'm on the straight and narrow now.
When you eluded to geothermal I was thinking ice free.
But you are refering to geotextile matting.
Used as a weed barrier and to keep the gravel from being lost in the mud. Right?

Do you mind sharing. What area of enginnering did you recieve your Masters in?
 

nkcattle

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The general rule of thumb is 1 cow per acre on fescue orchard grass rye grass etc. If you run bermuda grass like I do. You can get 3-6 cows per acre. I run them like this all summer then in the winter rotational graze 48 acres of fescue. I have seen people put 10 cows per acre on bermuda and it worked nicely but I personally wouldn't try it.
Where are you located where you can run 3-5 cows per acre? Thanks!
 

wbvs58

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I was reading about a property in central Australia this morning and how they run 1 cow to the square kilometer in good seasons, I think they run 7-8000 cows, predominantly Angus.

Ken
 

RDFF

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I have a total of 70 acres and with the bermuda grass I think I could realistically run about 70 commercial cows.
So, what you're really saying is you think you could realistically run about 1 commercial cow per acre. Is that with you assuming that ALL of their feed needs are coming off of that 70 acres, or is there some outside hay/grain/supplements being fed that didn't originate on those same 70 acres?
It always bugs me when people quote these kinds of numbers... but then they don't include any "outside feed" that's being fed in their analysis (feed that came from acres "other" than the pasture they were physically grazed on through the summer). Most operations do this... they have "summer pasture", and then a "winter feeding time", where they feed bales, grain, supplements, etc. But NONE of that other feed had to be raised on the "summer pasture acres" WHILE IT WAS ALSO FEEDING THE COWS IN THE SUMMERTIME. So when figuring that extra feed in THEN, what does THAT do to your "cows per acre" number.............. It's goes down......... dramatically.

Alot of guys up here were already feeding hay in June this year, and ended up having to keep feeding hay right on through into their normal winter feeding schedule, because of the drought. NONE of that supplemental hay came off of those summer pastures, and none of what they feed normally in winter typically comes off of the summer pastures either. They typically will have a "hayfield", or some acres dedicated to corn for silage, etc., or they buy in hay grown on somebody else's acres. ALL of those acres though are required to reach the overall density that you're asking us to inform you of.

Sounds more like TheCowGirl is intending to be supplemental feeding these things all the time, and she's more looking for an exercise lot for the animals than she's looking for them to be getting all of their feed off of what it might actually be able to grow for them. BIG, BIG, BIG difference.
 

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