how many head

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by ugabulldog, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. ugabulldog

    ugabulldog Well-Known Member

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    just curious, when people talk about how many head of cattle they have, are they usually counting the calves thast will be going to sale also?
     
  2. G. Seddon

    G. Seddon Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I really have no clue as to the correct answer, but I'd guess if they are counting calves, they'd qualify their answer as X number of cow/calf pairs. Would this be correct (addressed to you experts!)?
     

  3. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    If someone is generally talking feeding grazing etc I include calves. If they want specific info they get it. 7 calves, 7 cows, 1 steer 1 bull
     
  4. ksfarmer

    ksfarmer Retired farmer-rancher

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    Depends on the operation, if its a cow herd you usuallly say X number of cows. If backgrounding calves, it's X number calves.
     
  5. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    I'm with Ross. If somebody asks how many head I run the number I give will be the total - cows, calves, bulls, steers etc. If it's specifics they're wanting, I can give them that too - 20 cows, 18 calves, 2 bulls etc. If I'm sending cows and calves to the sale, it will be how many of each I'm sending.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  6. genebo

    genebo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When figuring how many head your land will support, go to your County Agent. He can tell you how many stocking units your land will support. Then, figure 1 unit per cow or steer, 1.5 units per bull and .5 units per calf up to weaning age. He'll have figures for sheep and goats, too.

    The stocking rate generally assumes 1200# beef cows. If your breed is larger than average, alter the rate per head to suit.

    Dexter cattle are about 1/2 the weight, so theoretically the land will support twice as many.

    A neighbor of mine struggled to raise an Angus herd for a few years on his 65 acres. 35 acres were trees and 30 acres were grass. His feed bill was enormous and he lost several head each winter. Finally the County Agent came and surveyed his property. His judgement was that the land would support 18 cows with calves and one bull. The man had 70 head on the property at that time. After the last steer was sold, it took 3 years for the pastures to recover.

    There was no profit in overstocking. The losses were too much to overcome. His scrawny cattle brought a fraction of the price that #2 grades brought.

    We are the overseers of the land. At best, we are grass farmers. The cattle eat the grass we raise.
     
  7. francismilker

    francismilker Udderly Happy! Supporter

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    Agreed whole-heartedly!

    Too often someone reads a generic stocking rate per acre and overgrazing is the detriment of their operation.

    I've been guilty of it myself before I figured it out.
     
  8. genebo

    genebo Well-Known Member Supporter

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