How much hay do you keep for the winter

Help Support CattleToday:

Uncle Dude

Active member
Joined
Jul 30, 2009
Messages
39
Reaction score
0
Location
Ga
I was just wondering how many round bales of hay people reserve for the winter per head of cattle? I know everyone situation is different and I can appreciate the differences.
 

S&WSigma40VEShooter

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 4, 2009
Messages
805
Reaction score
0
Location
East TN
Uncle Dude":3tmxe3r3 said:
I was just wondering how many round bales of hay people reserve for the winter per head of cattle? I know everyone situation is different and I can appreciate the differences.



We usually have around 300 5x5 round bales per year and usually use about 250 of them.
 

Alberta farmer

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 13, 2008
Messages
376
Reaction score
0
A 1300 lb. cow requires about 35 lbs./day of hay. The cow management manuals say less but they are basing that on a dry matter basis and don't take into account some waste. No matter your feeding system there is always some waste.
Without a lot of stockpiled forage the average Alberta cattleman will be feeding from Niv 1st to June 1st or 213 days. That means 213 days X 35 lbs = 7455 lbs/cow. That would mean you would need 6.2 1200 lb. round bales for each cow. Last year decent hay was about 3 cents a pound or $223.65/cow to feed her if you fed for 213 days.
This year hay is selling for around 10 cents a pound...if you can find it! Hay sold last week at a local auction for 12.5 cents/lb.!
At 10 cents a pound it would cost $745.50 to feed one cow for 213 days...clearly not possible if you intend to make a profit?
The smart money will be selling both cows and hay this year...the ones who just love their cows will be paying big time to keep them!
Just to pay for the cows winter feed you would need $1.24 for her 600 lb. weaned calf on November 1st....never mind paying for the grass she ate in the summer. It just doesn't work. Sorry, just my opinion.
 

rockridgecattle

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2007
Messages
2,826
Reaction score
1
Location
Manitoba, Canada
We try for 10 bales of hay for our cows. This includes wild and tame. The wild does get used for bedding as well as feed. The bales average 950 pounds. If we get straw that is a bonus. We feed from early October earlier if a frost toasted the pastures or a dry year. We feed usually until the middle of May but the last two years mid to end of June.
This does not include hay for weaned calves or bulls. Bull we go for about 12-15 bales of hay each. The number of calves we over winter depend on the hay we have extra.
 

grannysoo

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
4,813
Reaction score
0
Location
The Briar Patch
After going through the drought we went through a few years ago, and as dry as it's getting again now, we put up all we can. I want at least a 2 year supply, more is even better. Things can change quick.
 
OP
Uncle Dude

Uncle Dude

Active member
Joined
Jul 30, 2009
Messages
39
Reaction score
0
Location
Ga
S&WSigma40VEShooter":o3xsb9a6 said:
Uncle Dude":o3xsb9a6 said:
I was just wondering how many round bales of hay people reserve for the winter per head of cattle? I know everyone situation is different and I can appreciate the differences.



We usually have around 300 5x5 round bales per year and usually use about 250 of them.

How many head does the 250 feed?

BTW I have a SW40F, purchased in 94 when they first came out.
 

Alberta farmer

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 13, 2008
Messages
376
Reaction score
0
rockridge: I sure hope your hay is cheap this year if you intend to feed 10 bales per cow. You might want to consider trying to ship it out to Alberta? I'm not sure what a bite shipping would take out of it but at ten cents a lb. those 10 bales(9500lbs) would gross $950! Maybe you should hold off for awhile...usually in situations like this the Alberta government supplements transportation!
Last week good young cows with calves were going through the sales ring for peanuts. They were splitting the calves off and all cows were heading for slaughter....not dogs but really good young cows! Who in their right mind would pay $950 to winter a cow?
 

novaman

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Messages
1,741
Reaction score
0
Location
North Dakota
Alberta farmer":gvjmf8yq said:
Who in their right mind would pay $950 to winter a cow?
I'm assuming the people that would do this have the same frame of mind that I have with my dairy operation. Short term I am losing money but with the herd built up and the hope of long term success I will not sell out with one bad year. If we all quit as soon as we lost money there would be very few farmers/ranchers around. You've got to take the good with the bad.
 

rockridgecattle

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2007
Messages
2,826
Reaction score
1
Location
Manitoba, Canada
Alberta farmer":3a60aicc said:
rockridge: I sure hope your hay is cheap this year if you intend to feed 10 bales per cow. You might want to consider trying to ship it out to Alberta? I'm not sure what a bite shipping would take out of it but at ten cents a lb. those 10 bales(9500lbs) would gross $950! Maybe you should hold off for awhile...usually in situations like this the Alberta government supplements transportation!
Last week good young cows with calves were going through the sales ring for peanuts. They were splitting the calves off and all cows were heading for slaughter....not dogs but really good young cows! Who in their right mind would pay $950 to winter a cow?

10 bales per cow also covers our bedding during our winters and during / post calving. We ususally bed with wild hay. They then pick out what they like and lay and crap on the rest, usually the old bottom and peat stuff. We have an abundance of wild/slough hay here. The cows are pretty good at cleaning up the good stuff. And for some reason, they seem to miss not eating wild hay. Something in the hay they like. Last year, the wild hay was in short supply. So in the bale rings it went. They chose that over tame almost everytime.
 

Aaron

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 26, 2005
Messages
5,220
Reaction score
12
Location
Stratton, ON, Canada
6-8, 800 lb. 4x5 bales per 1200-1300 lb. cow. 6 bales if very mild winter. 8 if somewhat harsh. 10 if continually harsh (never happened). Mind you, I do a fair bit of late fall grazing and make sure cows go into winter with good flesh, so I don't feed hay at least until the first of December, if not later. :cowboy:

Past winter,

spring-calving dry cows ate:
~26-28 lbs/head/day (warm day 20F)
~30-32 lbs/head/day (average day -15F)
~34-38 lbs/head/day (cold day i.e. -40F)

fall-calving cows with nursing calves ate:
~34-37 lbs/head/day (warm day 20F)
~38-43 lbs/head/day (average day -15F)
~44-48 lbs/head/day (cold day i.e. -40F)

backgrounded calves ate:
~19-24 lbs/head/day (warm day 20F)
~22-26 lbs/head/day (average day -15F)
~25-29 lbs/head/day (cold day i.e. -40F)
 

Alberta farmer

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 13, 2008
Messages
376
Reaction score
0
I think Aaron has numbers that make sense. About 5600 lbs/cow/year. Keep them out grazing as long as possible. Keep feed costs as low as possible without dragging production down very low.
I also realize feed costs are not as high someplaces as they are in Alberta this year. The same thing goes for pasture costs? Land has got so expensive in my area we really shouldn't be running cows on it. Subdivisions make a lot more sense. Sad but true.
 

Latest posts

Top