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how many cows on my land?

bdog

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When I was growing up I did quite a bit of work with cattle but I have not been around them much in the last ten years or so because I was living in town. I now have a place in the county with some small acreage and I want to get a few cattle. I just finished fencing my entire property with 4 strand hi tensile electric and am in the process of building some working pens. I planted some haygrazer a couple of months ago and we have had a lot of rain and it is now very thick and about 5' tall. Additionally I have some of my land that was planted in winter wheat that came up good but was not harvested. I don't know if the cows will eat this or not? Anyway I would like to put a lot of cows on my land to eat down these crops for maybe a month or two and the I can sell them and prepare my land to plant it all in wheat this fall.

I was thinking of putting 500 lb steers out there, letting them put on about 100lbs over a couple months and then selling them.

Basically what I am trying to figure out is how many cows should I place per acre to graze this down in a short period of time. I am not really intrerested in how many in can support continually, but rather how many it would feed for a month or two because I am going to plow everything up at that time. I was thinking around 5 per acre? I don't know.
 

redangus

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Is it bottom land near a river with adequate rainfall? 1 per acre

It's hard to answer, but since you have good growing grass on it, I assume you get adequate rainfall...I'd say 2 acres per cow. This is a rather wet summer in the south so far. Where you at?

Short perod of time I would put 1.5 per acre, and sell when you run out of grass.
 

la4angus

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I was thinking of putting 500 lb steers out there, letting them put on about 100lbs over a couple months and then selling them.

Basically what I am trying to figure out is how many cows should I place per acre to graze this down in a short period of time. I am not really intrerested in how many in can support continually, but rather how many it would feed for a month or two because I am going to plow everything up at that time. I was thinking around 5 per acre? I don't know.[/quote]

If we are talking 500 lb steers and the grass is as lush as I am reading this to beprobaly 2 to 2 1/2. In your post you also asked "how many cows should I place per acre". If cows, probaly 1 per acre. Agree with redangus as soon as the grass is gone go to the sale with them.
 
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Anonymous

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It is not bottomland and no rivers nearby. I am in the Texas Panhandle. I am not really concerned about how much more rain or growth it is going to have, I just want them to eat what is already there. Here is a picture of the crop so you can see how thick it is and how tall it is. The chain link fence in the picture is 5' tall.


How many 500 lb steers would it take to eat an acre of this in one month?
 
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Anonymous

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Sorry for the confusion in my original post. I am looking at putting some 500lb or so steers. I know the difference but in general I sometimes refer to all cattle as cows.
 

Texan

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Is there any reason you can't cut it for hay and then graze the regrowth/stubble? Looks to me like calves would do more trompin' than eatin' in that field. Maybe its a little late for grazing it? Not meaning to change the subject of how many to stock it with. Just trying to cure my own ignorance. I've never seen anybody try to graze anything that looks like that.
 
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Anonymous

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I would like to cut it for hay but I don't have the equipment. Also it really is not enough acreage to justify having someone custom bale it for me.
 

Arnold Ziffle

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I guess I'm with Texan on this one. The calves would waste a lot of that thick haygrazer unless you divided it into small paddocks so as to move them in and out in a 2 or 3 day period. But haygrazer generally does make good regrowth so I'd still say to look into getting somebody to bale it either for $$ or for shares and then possibly put a few calves in. It is surprising to me how small a field can be and yet someone is willing to cut and bale in, at least in my neck of the woods (in ordinary times, not now when they are desperately trying to get caught up after all the rain). Maybe that's not the case in the panhandle, where the acreages are typically very large, aren't they?

In addition, prices for your stocker calves would be sky high right now. You could probably put some significant weight on them with all that good forage, but what if the big train wreck happens before fall? Or even a modest train wreck? I'm at times overly conservative, but I guess my 'nads are a little too small for me to go out and buy stockers at current prices even if I had the forage.

Have you looked into letting somebody else stock his calves on the place for a fee per acre, per AU or per pound gained, etc.?

But whatever you do it needs to be done pretty soon, since it is already starting to head out and your stem to leaf ratio is going to be increasing.
 

Texan

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Arnold Ziffle":3o7lksty said:
......I guess my 'nads are a little too small for me to go out and buy stockers at current prices.....


You're not the only one with the mustard seeds, Arnold. Would hate the thought of turning out $600 calves into something where I wouldn't even be able to see 'em for two weeks!
 

hillbilly 2

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Might as well tromp it down.
My cows only eat about 50% of haygrazer baled that tough...
They act like it's weeds...too corse.
They will eat it standing, but not baled.
It's a good crop if you manage the cr#p out of it.
I dont know how many acres you got of it but didn't sound like many.
I would offer it to your neighbor before I would invest in feeders to put on it....as high as they are now somthings bound to go wrong.

Hillbilly
 

Running Arrow Bill

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Can figure they would trample at least 50% of the tall haygrazer. How many acres of it? Recommend round baling it and grazing the stubble. Feed round bales until gone. Sell calves.
 
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Anonymous

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I have 5 acres of it so it is not like we are talking about a major decision here. I figure I have less than $50 invested in the crop so it is not a real big deal to me. Mainly it is a hobby. But I got to thinking if I can put steers on it and have them gain 2lb a day for one month that would be around $50 profit per head. If I could put say 15 animals on the 5 acres for one month at this profit rate then I could make $750 in 30 days. It is not going to get me rich but it would be nice to have the place make a little money that I could put back into it.
 

certherfbeef

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Round here we went to greenchopping our second cutting. It was so wet early in the year all we really got was one cutting that wasn't any good to start with. Too tough. Anyhow we would green chop what should be 2nd crop and blow it right into a feeder wagon. Pushed back feeding hay till christmas time. We have been having record wet springs and then not harldly a drop late summer thru fall.
Back to the original question... for 5 acres, put as many calves on it as you can afford- overgraze- sell when the stuff is gone. Understanding that they will waste ALOT of it.
 

hillbilly

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Sounds to me like you got it figured pretty good.
I think it will carry them longer than thirty days... maybe sixty??
Try to get gentle calves.
Also, as they tromp it down its going to get on your electric fence.
Might even brush hog outside row all around.

Hillbilly
 
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