Lbs of Hay per head

Help Support CattleToday:

TXBobcat

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Messages
782
Reaction score
0
Location
China Spring, TX
In preparing for buying next winter's hay, I was thinking about how many pounds per animal unit I would need. I plan to feed hay from around the middle of November to the middle of March (about 120 days). Cattle (Longhorns) will be on pasture (about 1 head to 4 acres) the whole time. Pasture is just native grass with a little bermuda.

How many pounds of hay per animal unit would you figure?
 

skip

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
89
Reaction score
0
Location
DeWitt Co. So. Central Tx
Your situation is very similar to ours. We figure 2.5 bales per head for the November to March period. The bales we buy weigh approximately 1200-1300 lbs. each. This might be on the high side but I would rather have a few left over that fall short and have to go buy more during the winter. Not every year is going to be like last year when every hay producer had more surplus than they knew what to do with. In our area, they got multiple quality cuttings because of the wet spring and summer.
 
OP
T

TXBobcat

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Messages
782
Reaction score
0
Location
China Spring, TX
skip":1r2m1c0h said:
Your situation is very similar to ours. We figure 2.5 bales per head for the November to March period. The bales we buy weigh approximately 1200-1300 lbs. each. This might be on the high side but I would rather have a few left over that fall short and have to go buy more during the winter. Not every year is going to be like last year when every hay producer had more surplus than they knew what to do with. In our area, they got multiple quality cuttings because of the wet spring and summer.

That's pretty close to what I fugured. Your scenario would work out as 1200lb bale x 2.5 bales = 3000lbs hay \ 120 days = 25 lbs per day.

I was figuring around 20lbs per head per day. The man I'm working for says we can get by with a lot less (about 10 lbs day), but I would rather have enough than be scrambling for hay come Jan and Feb.
 

eric

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 23, 2003
Messages
1,121
Reaction score
0
Location
Tx.......just north of Dallas
I was going through a 1000 lb bale every 8 days this past winter, and I had 4 big cows. So that was 4 bales per month, or 4000 lbs a month. So figure 4000 lbs / 4 hd = 1000 lbs per month per hd. 1000 lbs / 31 days = 32.25 lbs per day.
These were big beefmaster mamas who had just calved in late November, so maybe they eat more than longhorns? Or do you think I fed to much? I let them have free range to the bales, but only put out one bale at a time and made sure it was 95% gone before I put out the next bale.
 

lazyhill

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Messages
126
Reaction score
0
Location
Van Alstyne, Texas - NE of Dallas
I run longhorns and brangus cattle (separate pastures). For my longhorns, I figure 30 - 35 lbs of hay per day. We use protein supplements in the winter in the form of a liquid mix. This increases their dry matter intake but keeps them healthier and more fit. They loose less body condition this way. Also, I put them on a pasture where there is little forage during the winter months. If you have some winter grasses growing, this will cut down on the amount of hay you need. Also, longhorns vary significantly in frame size. We tend to like larger framed cows with lots of horn as opposed to some of the smaller types, typically found in straight Butler. We have a blended program. I thinkt hat this adds to the extra hay we use.

For my 20 head of longhorns, I don't mind having some extra bales at the end of the season. I'll put them out mid summer to use them up.
 

dun

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
Messages
47,334
Reaction score
2
Location
MO Ozarks
Depending on the quality of the hay, the rule of thumb is 2.5-3% of body weight per day. You have to figure waste so maybe another lb or 2 a day. You also have to have adequate scratch value in the hay just to keep the guts functioning properly. 10 lbs a day of straw would work out if you're feeding a high level of concentrates as supplement.

dun
 
OP
T

TXBobcat

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Messages
782
Reaction score
0
Location
China Spring, TX
dun":t5rjmqj1 said:
Depending on the quality of the hay, the rule of thumb is 2.5-3% of body weight per day. You have to figure waste so maybe another lb or 2 a day. You also have to have adequate scratch value in the hay just to keep the guts functioning properly. 10 lbs a day of straw would work out if you're feeding a high level of concentrates as supplement.

dun

The hay will probably be coastal bermuda (4x5 round bales) if I can get it from my neighbor pretty cheap. Haven't had his hay tested, so I don't really know the quality for sure, but appearance wise it is good hay and he takes care of his coastal fields. The only supplements they will be getting is a few lbs of 20% range cubes every other day or so and maybe some molasses tubs. I don't plan on feeding any other concentrates such as a sweet feed.
 

eric

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 23, 2003
Messages
1,121
Reaction score
0
Location
Tx.......just north of Dallas
I saw one of my neighbors out cutting / baling hay the past few days. I was thinking about asking him if he would sell me some bales now instead of this fall. My thoughts are I might pick it up cheaper since he wouldnt have to store it and he has a guaranteed sale. Would you guys buy first cutting round bales and keep them till this winter is the price was right? I am paying $30 a bale in the fall, I was thinking of offering $15 a bale and picking up 20 bales right now! It would be cash for him this summer when he wasnt expecting it, and also giver him room to store 20 extra bales next cutting. He only has a few cattle and bales around 100 acres, so he definately has extra hay for sale. Good idea or should I wait and buy my hay this fall/winter?
 

skip

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
89
Reaction score
0
Location
DeWitt Co. So. Central Tx
We always buy our hay in the late spring/early summer when it's being cut. We've been buying from the same supplier for 3 years. I'm chicken to wait until fall or winter because if it gets too dry during late summer some people start feeding early in the fall and supplies might dry up. This is taking into consideration that there is not an overabundance of hay like this past spring.
 

eric

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 23, 2003
Messages
1,121
Reaction score
0
Location
Tx.......just north of Dallas
Do you pay the same price in spring as you would in the fall? I dont want to offend the man by lowballing a price to him! I was just trying to get it a little cheaper. There are always guys with round bales in the $30-$35 range here in N Tx all winter long. I wouldnt want to buy it now and have to store it and leep it covered all summer long unless I could pick it up cheaper than fall prices!
 

Arnold Ziffle

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 30, 2003
Messages
1,174
Reaction score
0
Location
southwest of Houston, Texas
If he sells for $30 in the fall I rather doubt that he would sell for $15 now, but it's worth a try. Around my area we have to pay $16 to $18 to somebody just to cut, rake & bale our own hay. If the first cutting doesn't have too many weeds, flowers and old rotted dry matter from last year in it then I would say go for it, especially if you know that it was fertilized in early spring. Then try to store it such that you avoid contact with the ground (use pallets, old tires, rocks, or whatever) and get a tarp to cover it if you can.

Although I try to buy most of my hay later in the summer or fall I think it's good to get some early, as insurance against drought. Several times in recent years I have had to put out hay in the summer when we've gone several months without anything but a light mist, coupled with blistering hot temperatures.
 

Campground Cattle

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Messages
2,533
Reaction score
0
Location
East Texas
eric":30vvus05 said:
I saw one of my neighbors out cutting / baling hay the past few days. I was thinking about asking him if he would sell me some bales now instead of this fall. My thoughts are I might pick it up cheaper since he wouldnt have to store it and he has a guaranteed sale. Would you guys buy first cutting round bales and keep them till this winter is the price was right? I am paying $30 a bale in the fall, I was thinking of offering $15 a bale and picking up 20 bales right now! It would be cash for him this summer when he wasnt expecting it, and also giver him room to store 20 extra bales next cutting. He only has a few cattle and bales around 100 acres, so he definately has extra hay for sale. Good idea or should I wait and buy my hay this fall/winter?

I never sell my first three cuttings, I always get mine first. After I have mine cut I will sell but not until the fall. I have gotten burned by late season drought had to start haying early.
 

lazyhill

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Messages
126
Reaction score
0
Location
Van Alstyne, Texas - NE of Dallas
Campground Cattle":2c23eai2 said:
eric":2c23eai2 said:
I saw one of my neighbors out cutting / baling hay the past few days. I was thinking about asking him if he would sell me some bales now instead of this fall. My thoughts are I might pick it up cheaper since he wouldnt have to store it and he has a guaranteed sale. Would you guys buy first cutting round bales and keep them till this winter is the price was right? I am paying $30 a bale in the fall, I was thinking of offering $15 a bale and picking up 20 bales right now! It would be cash for him this summer when he wasnt expecting it, and also giver him room to store 20 extra bales next cutting. He only has a few cattle and bales around 100 acres, so he definately has extra hay for sale. Good idea or should I wait and buy my hay this fall/winter?

I never sell my first three cuttings, I always get mine first. After I have mine cut I will sell but not until the fall. I have gotten burned by late season drought had to start haying early.

I always make sure that I have my hay first also. When I do start selling, I sell the older stuff first since it has weathered a little more than the newer. I don't have lots of weeds in my fields so I'm not too concerned about the weed content. I typically wil wait till fall also and charge more. It sells just as quickly and I do get a little more for it.
 
OP
T

TXBobcat

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Messages
782
Reaction score
0
Location
China Spring, TX
eric":13p93fxz said:
Do you pay the same price in spring as you would in the fall? I dont want to offend the man by lowballing a price to him! I was just trying to get it a little cheaper. There are always guys with round bales in the $30-$35 range here in N Tx all winter long. I wouldnt want to buy it now and have to store it and leep it covered all summer long unless I could pick it up cheaper than fall prices!

You might be able to get it a little cheaper than $30-$35, but I doubt you'll get it for $15. It probably costs more than that to get it baled. I would also watch the first cutting, because as Arnold said, it may have a lot of weeds and stuff.

If I were you, I would go and talk with the man and ask if he will be selling any hay. If he says yes, then put in your order now and tell him when the 2nd cutting is baled you'll be willing to buy some out of the field. That is usually where they give you the break in price, since they don't have to handle the hay to put in the barn or move it somewhere.

I might even buy some of the first cutting if it looked pretty good and the price was right. As others have said, you never know when there might be a shortage.
 

eric

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 23, 2003
Messages
1,121
Reaction score
0
Location
Tx.......just north of Dallas
I bet he had 75-80 bales already baled when I drove by last night, and he still had about 1/4 of his field left to bale. He only has about 10 hd of cattle, so I am assuming he sells the rest. He might have it all sold already, as he never has a sign out front or advertises in the paper as far as I know. If I see him out this afternoon, then I will stop and introduce myself, at the very least I might make a new friend and learn a thing or two about cows and/or hay cutting! think I'll feel him out before trying to offer a less than market price for the hay. I am in a very expensive neighborhood, and his land is probably worth $50-$60k an acre, so I am pretty sure my $300-$400 isn't going to make or break him.
Thanks guys!
 
Top