Dumb Guy Questions?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by moonwolf, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Okay, bear with me since I don't currently raise cattle.

    Catttle and pasture operations are part of my landscape even though I don't, but I want to begin getting some 'smarts' about raising cattle. I figure I'll get straightforward answers here regarding some basics on hay and pasture fed cattle.

    1. How many large round bales of hay is generally stored and eaten per head of cattle?

    2. Roughly how many head of cattle per acre on decent grazing pasture that is mixed grass, trefoil, and clover?

    3. How much is the cost of a large round bale of hay?

    4. If you had a pasture and wanted to arrange with someone to rent it for their own cattle, how much should you expect to get per acre or per head for the use of pasture for the cattle during the growing season.

    5. If you had a good hay pasture that you wanted to rent for someone to cut large round bales of hay, how much should money should you expect to get of each bale that is taken off?

    6. If you had a pasture requiring new fencing to keep cattle so that the person wanting to rent that pasture for their own cattle, should they pay to have it fenced? ...assuming the rental for their cattle would be over several years that they would want?

    7. If you had 100 acres of a hay field in recent production, would it be wise to utilize 50 acres in head of cattle and the other to grow 50 acres worth of hay? Is there any correlation to the amount of cattle on same acreage as acreage of hay? In other words would 50 acres of hay production in a normal year be enough to overwinter 50 head of cattle?

    I know, probably dumb guy questions. Do your best.
    Thanks.
     
  2. JulieLou42

    JulieLou42 Well-Known Member

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    I can't tell you about those round bales...can't lift 'em! But the small square ones cost $70 per ton custom cut from my mostly orchard grass field. It took 3.5 tons of that at $85 per delivered from about 1.5 miles away to overwinter my 1500# 3/4 Guernsey-Angus cross and her steer calf that was born late May '04. The grass was tall enough for them to eat by the end of April, that is to say, about 5-6 inches. The local ag agent told me that on my 6.5 usable acres, I could put 2 cow-calf pairs or maybe 8 feeder calves, but it's not all fenced, so cannot do that. And, my fields need replanting.

    You ask a LOT of very good -- and technical -- questions, that would best be answered by your Canadian equivalent of our Extension Ag. Agents.

    Good luck finding the answers to all your questions...JL
     

  3. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    I agree with the previous answer. Almost every one of those questions has local application subject to a good bit of variability. For example, in the U.S. (and I suspect in Canada) a round bale of hay might run from 1,200 to 2,000 pounds, depending on size and compactness, and harvested forage condition (e.g., dryness) to a degree.
     
  4. john in la

    john in la Well-Known Member

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    Then you need to know if you can grow rye grass in your area for winter grazing; snow cover if any; summer grass growing season length; ect ect.

    We raise 1 cow per acre here. Some one in west TX may need 50 acres for that same cow.

    To many variables to answer your questions with the info given.
     
  5. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Quality of grass is good. No grazing in winter from about December until May. Summer grass growing season is robust with decent pasture as the ag rep already mentions in this area.

    Ken, yes the large bales about the same in wt. at least 1200 lb. per bale.
     
  6. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

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    Moonwolf:

    For me to try to answer your questions would be dumb--me in Ok, you in Canada.

    I can tell you this: With no grazing from Dec to May it takes me about 3 large round bales (at least 1200 pound bales) to winter one beef cow and her calf. In addition, since my hay is low quality, I feed 2 pounds or more of cattle cubes, at least 20% and preferably 37% protein per day. If you have a severe winter (wet snow, cold rain) this will not get you thru. When we have bad conditions here the cattle go thru hay like epsom salts thru a country girl.

    As advised earlier, find a local source of advice.
    Ox
     
  7. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Ox, thanks. That's a good answer and the kind of thing I wanted to know.
    Locals too will give varialbe advice on information about feeding and what they grow in pasture. They too will say 'it depends', but nice to hear what some are doing for some comparison of ideas. Otherwise I wouldn't know.
    I talked to one guy swearing one breed he keeps is 'better' than the other guy I talked to...and they only lived about 5 miles apart!
    Yes, our winters would be more severe. I would expect cattle would feed heavier on the hay and probably need more winter supplements.
     
  8. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Well since I posed these questions, I've gotten some input to answer 4 points. Not bad. :clap:

    Looks like about 4 large round bales in my area needed per head to overwinter.

    A large round bale to buy from a farmer here would cost roughly $50, and more if delivered.

    Looks like about 2 head of cattle graze in good pasture here during the season it grows from May to October.

    Rental fees vary, but should get about $50 per head per year if the pasture was good and kept up. Barn space would be differently negotiated if kept over winter.

    so far I've learned some already. :D
     
  9. astrocow

    astrocow Well-Known Member

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    I'll give a crack at question number 4.

    My friend in northern B.C. has a field and she charges $20 per month per head of cattle during the summer grazing season.

    For myself our cattle are a small breed and they eat about 25 pounds of good hay per day per cow. We also give cattle ration, grain and alfalfa cubes to pull them through the winter.