How many cows per acre?

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Sir Loin

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Brandom2,
Re:
IF this is just a loafing ground......
First let’s call it what it is. You’re now talking about a “feed lot”.
Re:
Now HOW you make MONEY off of that arrangement I do not know.
Perhaps you should talk to some of the buyers who buy your calves and ask them how they are making MONEY off of your calves. Or visit any feedlot operation and ask them.
SL
 

Sir Loin

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Cattlehand,
Re:
Not always the best investment because per pound as the weight increases the price/pound begins to decrease.
Check your local sale barn and tell me what a 500lb and an 800lb steer are being sold for at their last sale.
Then tell me which one you would rather be selling.
Please show your math.
SL
 

somn

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Bez>":1ulqbva4 said:
lmp570":1ulqbva4 said:
Hello from West Kentucky everyone! I am a relatively new farmer and have run into a problem. I have been offered about five new acres to use as pasture and i know the old rule of thumb is one cow per acre, BUT if i supplement about five lbs. of corn every other day per cow... and keep a steady supply of hay (will save Timothy hay for winter) then how many cows can i expect to thrive on these five acres?

This is my first post so ill appreciate any wisdom anyone can offer! God bless!

5 acres?

More trouble than it is worth - hay it once / maybe twice a year and be done with it.

Make more money with hay than you will with a couple of cows.

Anytime you need to supplement cattle with feed of any kind - other than winter - you are playing a losing game. Ask the drought folks - they will tell you the costs - and it ain't pretty.

Bez>
I've been supplementing cattle with many types of feed for many years and crazy as it sounds to you I have made money at it almost every year. My advice to you if you are a cow calf operator would be to not try telling every one that feeding cattle supplements is a loser. If enough people start believeing that line of bs those feedlots will assume you know what your talking about and they won't buy your calves anymore. A cow calf operation that doesn't sell calves won't be profitable for very long. Reminds me of an old saying an inlet without an outlet soon becomes a lake.
 
OP
L

lmp570

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i realize that i wont make any profit for a few years until i can get more land... but come on fellas... ive gotta start somewhere.

if i put 2 cows and 3 heifers on these 5 acres, (a bull will be rented) by what i believe and by what replies ive got... i think ill be ok. at least until next year will all the females are fixing to calve. :shock:
 

TREY-L

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Your pic is a pic of a TN brownout. But it is only the beginning when you still have something left on the ground for them to eat. If the drought continues from there on you will reach a point where there is nothing on the ground except dirt.
We have just reached that point now.
As they continue to graze they are now pulling up what little is left on the ground by the roots and eating roots and all. That is why we have now switched to plan B.

Mr. Loin,
Where in TN do you and your cattle reside?
I live about 3 miles from the TN state line and I travel extensivlely in TN, I haven't seen any areas in my travels that looked as bad as that photo. I am not doubting your word, I'm just curious where
it's that bad. My cows and I live in the big red dot on the drought map, which is covering most of AL, and it doesn't look anything like that in my pasture.

Trey
 

Brandonm2

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Sir Loin":3keyqtpt said:
Brandom2,
Re:
IF this is just a loafing ground......
First let’s call it what it is. You’re now talking about a “feed lot”.
Re:
Now HOW you make MONEY off of that arrangement I do not know.
Perhaps you should talk to some of the buyers who buy your calves and ask them how they are making MONEY off of your calves. Or visit any feedlot operation and ask them.
SL

I don't see how that is even relavent. You generally CAN'T buy the grain as cheaply as a feedlot can, economies of scale allow them to do their own milling and they don't need a large profit per head to make money since they process thousands of head, and they don't have to feed a breeding herd year round. They buy calves and then feed them for 5 to 10 months.
 

dcara

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What is your definition of “overgrazed” as you used it above?
Is management in any way responsible in your definition of “overgrazed” as you used it above?

I consider the process of overgrazing different from the state of a pasture that has been overgrazed. A pasture that has been overgrazed suffers longer term damage due partly to the activity you described where the animals pull out what little forage there is by the roots or otherwise damage the forage by grazing it to close to ground. This is why horses can damage a pasture much worse than cows since horses can grab/graze forage much closer to the ground.

I beleive "overgrazing" a pasture is where the forage growth rate cannot keep up with the animal grazing load leading to a worsening pasture condition. The management practices that can reduce this damage are:
1) Destock to a level the pasture can support.
2) Supplemental feeeding to reduce grazing load on the pasture
3) Move the animals to another pasture that can support them (this may actually be considered just a different version of the destock practice).

Overgrazing can be used benefically as in Managed intensive, or, rotational grazing. In these grazing management systems you place animals on a forage base that can only support them for a short period before you have to move them to another paddock/pasture. The key is that you don’t let them graze it to short.

Last year I had to destock to a level I could afford to feed hay to. Feeding hay last year was expensive; but, I still think it was less expensive than replanting a pasture.
 

Sir Loin

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Tray,

Re:
I haven't seen any areas in my travels that looked as bad as that photo. I am not doubting your word, I'm just curious where
it's that bad.
Check your PM box.

Now I’m not saying my all my pastures look as bad as Doug’s pic but that is what we, in TN, call a brownout, although it may have somewhat of a green color, the grass that is visible is too short to be eaten.

Here it starts on the hill (ridge) tops and works it way down to the bottom.
I have some pics I took today, but as usual I can’t seem to be able to upload all of them.
See:
http://cattletoday.com/photos/showphoto ... puser=5601

These are clumps of grass that the cows pulled up by the roots but rejected and dropped. And again, these were from the top of the hill. I haven’t found any past half way down the hill.


IMO, the only reason we have some green left is that due to our location near two rivers which causes a heavy dew at night which is saving us for now.
At 7AM I have to use my wipers to clear my windshield to see and that’s all the precipitation we have had for over 45 days.

Fri it rained 5 miles east of us and 5 miles west of us, but not a drop fell here.
SL

PS The good news is that I didn’t have to mow my lawn for the last 3 weeks! :roll:
 

Sir Loin

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Brandonm2,

The only think I can say is you need to get an attitude adjustment if you’re going to be successful in the cattle business.
Anyone can give a 1,000 reason why something can’t be done, but a true businessman only needs to give one reason how it can be done.
Did you ever stop to think that you are the reason you can’t do it, as thousands of other are already doing it successfully?

FYI: Supplemental feeding doesn’t have to be some elaborate type operation and procedure with feed.
It can be as simple as fencing off a 50 X 50 ft corner of your pasture with a creep gate made of old boards or a 17 X 36 in hole in a wall so only your calves can pass through, and a bale of hay.

Now if supplemental feeding is not your cup of tea, that’s fine, but don’t try to make others feel like a fool for being successful at what they do.
If you can’t make it work for you, and you’re happy, you have my good will and blessings.
SL
 

Sir Loin

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Doug,
The question was:
Is management in any way responsible in your definition of “overgrazed” as you used it above?
Was that a yes or no?

Were you responsible for your June 06 brownout?
SL
 

Sir Loin

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Tray,
Here are two more pics I finally got uploaded.

100_0079.jpg


100_0080.jpg
 

dcara

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Doug,
The question was:
Quote:
Is management in any way responsible in your definition of “overgrazed” as you used it above?

Was that a yes or no?

Were you responsible for your June 06 brownout?
SL

You are asking 2 differrent question, but I'll answer both.

First, grazing does not cause grass to turn brown, so of course I was not responsible for the "brownout". That was a drought driven condition. However, the brownout decreased the amount of available green forage in my pastures to the point where a herd of rabbits could have overgrazed them. At that point, it became a management issue.

If there were only one green edible plant in the middle of a field of dirt, (or sand such as in west texas) with no animals on it, then the field is not being overgrazed since there is no grazing activity occuring. However, if you let an animal into the field and it eats that plant the field has now been overgrazed as a result of a management decesion.
 

mbdear

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Actually, at that point the single plant has been grazed. It is not overgrazed, but merely grazed. If management chooses to leave the animal in the pasture and not move it, and the animal takes a second bite in 3 or 4 days, the plant, at that moment in time, is over-grazed since it has not had the opportunity to replenish its root reserves.
 

dcara

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Actually, at that point the single plant has been grazed. It is not overgrazed, but merely grazed. If management chooses to leave the animal in the pasture and not move it, and the animal takes a second bite in 3 or 4 days, the plant, at that moment in time, is over-grazed since it has not had the opportunity to replenish its root reserves.

Agreed
 

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