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Intensive Grazing

A

Anonymous

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I live in Western PA where the grasses are said to reach "maturity" in 28 days. I currently run 13 head of cattle in two paddocks that are 12.5 and 2.5 acres. I am considering fencing another 4 acres and then rotating the animals thru at 19,3, and 6 days, respectively. I have always heard that you figure 1 acre for every cow/calf pair. With intensive grazing as I plan, how many animals can I work on this arrangement?

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A

Anonymous

Guest
> I live in Western PA where the
> grasses are said to reach
> "maturity" in 28 days. I
> currently run 13 head of cattle in
> two paddocks that are 12.5 and 2.5
> acres. I am considering fencing
> another 4 acres and then rotating
> the animals thru at 19,3, and 6
> days, respectively. I have always
> heard that you figure 1 acre for
> every cow/calf pair. With
> intensive grazing as I plan, how
> many animals can I work on this
> arrangement? In Mississippi I believe the normal stocking rate for regular pasture would be 1 unit (cow and calf) for two acres!

For intensive grazing I've also seen a stocking rate of 3 cows per acre. I think this would translate as follows:if you were grazing 15 cows, your paddocks would be about 5 acres in size ( 3 units to the acre)!

I don't intensive graze but I have been reading more to see if its something I should try.

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A

Anonymous

Guest
In some areas of the west, it takes 100 acres to support a cow!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
You need to get some local help on this. Check with your extension agent and see if he knows someone doing intensive grazing in your area. We have been intensive grazing here in southern Oklahoma for several years and could see great improvement in our native grass, until it stopped raining. We've had a couple of decent springs, though, so maybe things will get better. How many cattle you can run will depend on how much and what kind of grass you have, and rainfall in your area. The <A HREF="http://www.grassfarmer.com">www.grassfarmer.com</A> site has some good info. And the <A HREF="http://www.noble.org">www.noble.org</A> site (agriculture division) has some good articles. Good luck...

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A

Anonymous

Guest
> In some areas of the west, it
> takes 100 acres to support a cow!

I am now in East Texas and I have tried to do some intensive grazing on a very small scale. Even with un-improved pastures and small rotation cells, I have been able to see a marked improvement in both the cattle and the grass recovery. I am responding to your "WOW" because I have some limited experience with far West Texas and New Mexico grazing ranges. It takes a very hardy animal to survive on that kind of range and that accounts for the early popularity of the Longhorn breed in that invironment. I have heard various pastures refered to as "10 MPH" and "25 MPH" pastures, alluding to the speed at which the cow must travel from one bite to the next in order to make a living. I am enjoying my small herd and ample grass (when it rains) but I can empathize with those ranchers in the dryer areas. Not much information here but maybe a chuckle. Thanks for listening,

Mack

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A

Anonymous

Guest
> In some areas of the west, it
> takes 100 acres to support a cow! Linda, I guess that comes from having pretty good soil and if normal weather patterns, about 50 to 55 inches of rainfall per year. Now the last two have not been as good! Had very dry summers!

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A

Anonymous

Guest
> In some areas of the west, it
> takes 100 acres to support a cow!

Hey, it depends on which part of the west you are in. I have 10 pairs and a bull on about 15 acres of pasture and I wish I had another 5 pairs to eat all the grass. I started doing intense grazing last year. My cows were in better shape in the fall, the calves averaged 100 lbs. more, and the grass lasted longer. I am absolutely sold on it. On one field which is 0.9 acre I got 232 mature cows days of grazing last year. I move the cows every day or two. I use portable fencing ahead of and behind the cows. I generally give the grass about 28 days of rest. The field they are in right now is the third time they have been there this spring. One of the grazing seminars I went to said the stocking rate on good grass is 40,000 lbs per acre per day. I have found that that is a good starting point. Oh, by the way I live in Western Washington and it does rain here on a regular basis. I don't know how this works in the dry country. But if you have rain or irrigation it sure works well. Dave
 

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