Land*X=Cow

Deer Nightmare

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I was wondering how much land does a usual cow needs. This may seem like a dumb question. Thanks for the info!
Noelle
 

Latestarter

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To determine the carrying capacity of a particular piece of land, there's a bit involved. You could contact your local (county) extension agent and they should be able to help you, or if you have a close neighbor who is familiar with it, maybe they could assist.
 

jhm47

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Latestarter X 2! In my state of South Dakota, we probably vary more than anywhere else. Here in the Eastern part of the state, there are areas where you only need 2.5 - 3 acres of grass for a cow/calf unit. In some of the drier parts of Western SD, they may need up to 25 acres per unit. It all varies due to your average precipitation and the fertility of your soils.
 

Deer Nightmare

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Latestarter X 2! In my state of South Dakota, we probably vary more than anywhere else. Here in the Eastern part of the state, there are areas where you only need 2.5 - 3 acres of grass for a cow/calf unit. In some of the drier parts of Western SD, they may need up to 25 acres per unit. It all varies due to your average precipitation and the fertility of your soils.
O.k! Thanks sooo much for all of your info!
 

Baymule

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Same here in Texas. In east Texas, plenty of rainfall, lush grass and forest, 1-2 acres per cow. In west Texas, up to 25 acres per cow. What is your average rainfall, is the grass thick and lush or sparse and thin?
 

TAH

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What breed of cow are you going to get? Are you going to use them for meat or milk?
 

WildRoseBeef

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What is the weight of your animals? An animal unit is (usually) one 1000 lb cow with or without a calf consuming 25 pounds of dry matter forage per day. An animal unit month is that animal unit consuming 25 lb DM forage x 30.5 days. The actual animal unit (AU) for your animals depend on a) how much they consume per day, or b) their weight (BW) multiplied by the power of 0.75 (AU = BW x ^0.75) according to the average energy needs (in Mcal/day). And that's ONE method for the old-fashioned, somewhat out-dated stocking rates.

Another way of calculating AU is taking the amount of daily DM forage of your cows and dividing that by the amount that 1000 lb cow consumes a day, while assuming the percent daily intake is around 2 to 3% of body weight. So, for the 1000 lb cow, I'm assuming she's consuming 2.5% of her body weight DM per day. But, that depends on pasture quality. Lower quality pasture means that she'll be consuming less, and the opposite for higher quality pastures.

Carrying capacity takes into account both animal units, and how much forage biomass that pasture is producing. Carrying capacity changes year to year, even month to month. You will need to contact your local extension forage specialist to get an average biomass amount in lb/acre in order to calculate carrying capacity. From there you can calculate either stocking rate or stocking density. Personally I prefer stocking density because it allows for more flexibility with controlled, managed rotational grazing where you are determining how many days or hours on a particular pasture size you can graze with a set number of animals. Stocking density is number of animal units over a particular time period on a set number of acres, basically.
 
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Latestarter

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See? Like I said/implied... fairly simple :hu and straightforward :hide (if you like math especially! :sick ) :barnie :thThanks @WildRoseBeef ! :ya:bow:clap:thumbsup
 

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What's REALLY awesome is that there are so many really smart, experienced people out there who are willing to share their knowledge freely and willingly with all us wannabees (wannalearns)! It just makes the world a better place. Thanks, to all of you! :clap
 
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