Pre Conditioning Pasture/Trap Size

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Soggy Bottom

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I've read and heard the rule of thumb for a feedlot setup is around 250sq' to 600sq' of pen size per head. Bunk space is around 1' per head also. Is there a rule of thumb for pre-conditioning traps or pens for space per animal? If someone wanted to maximize pasture size without crowding calves what would an average space needed be? These calves will be fed twice a day and have constant access to high quality grass hay. Thanks
 

Stocker Steve

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Google says 200 to 400 sq ft of pen space per animal. Obviously confinement barns are much much less.

Traps are different. Some build big 2 to 5 acre pens, delay working the calves, and claim better BRD results.

Depends a lot on base, drainage, and health history.
 
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Soggy Bottom

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Thanks for the input. The land has good drainage with a natural slope. At first I was thinking of 1 acre pens per 100 head of lite weight calves but re-thinking 2-3 acre traps might better and easier on the calves.
 
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Soggy Bottom

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Each trap will have adequate shade, water, and fresh hay. Guess what I am asking, is there any benefit to larger pens vs. smaller pens? Calves will be fed twice a day.
 

Stocker Steve

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Best hill country set up I saw had an old mule barn/corral set up in the center and multi acre traps all around it. There was a crushed rock drive/lane to each of the pens where they fed using (cut in half) plastic culverts that were easy to move.
 

OBAX

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I would think as long as they have access to water and feed and forage, whether it be grass or hay, they should be fine on an acre for a short time.
I generally wean in about a half acre lot, with plenty of feed and forage. Then about 2-3 weeks in I open up to about 5 acres. They remain there until they are shipped. The smaller the lot, the less time it takes them to challenge the fences. And by the time I turn them into the larger lot they are a lot more settled.
 

OBAX

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I should add that I wean in 30-40 head lots normally. Very seldom does my 5 acre lot exceed 80 head and I usually ship some before I add more.
 

lap

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I've read and heard the rule of thumb for a feedlot setup is around 250sq' to 600sq' of pen size per head. Bunk space is around 1' per head also. Is there a rule of thumb for pre-conditioning traps or pens for space per animal? If someone wanted to maximize pasture size without crowding calves what would an average space needed be? These calves will be fed twice a day and have constant access to high quality grass hay. Thanks
Are these ranch calves or sale barn calves?
 

lap

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I've read and heard the rule of thumb for a feedlot setup is around 250sq' to 600sq' of pen size per head. Bunk space is around 1' per head also. Is there a rule of thumb for pre-conditioning traps or pens for space per animal? If someone wanted to maximize pasture size without crowding calves what would an average space needed be? These calves will be fed twice a day and have constant access to high quality grass hay. Thanks
I keep them behind pipe for 2-3 wks then open to acre net wire trap, I usually only do a 45 day program, but if they stay longer they leave the one acre trap to a 5 acre trap.
 

Lucky

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I've read and heard the rule of thumb for a feedlot setup is around 250sq' to 600sq' of pen size per head. Bunk space is around 1' per head also. Is there a rule of thumb for pre-conditioning traps or pens for space per animal? If someone wanted to maximize pasture size without crowding calves what would an average space needed be? These calves will be fed twice a day and have constant access to high quality grass hay. Thanks
Problem I run into is manure buildup. I’d build them based off of how often you want to clean them out.
 

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