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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello I'm in SE Georgia right on the Georgia Florida Line and I was wondering how y'all figure how many bales of hay you need per cow per month over a 3 month winter season. I know the exact number would depend on many different factors but what I'm looking for is a simple "guesstimate" of bales of hay per cow per month. Thanks for your time!
 

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The simple answer is to start your figuring at 25 lbs. decent quality hay per cow per day... so for 50 lb. square bales you would need approximately 750 lbs. or 15 per month per cow. If you are talking small round bales (4x4... the most common in my neck of the woods), they weight around 500 lbs., so you would need about 1 1/2 bales per month per cow.

As you said in your question, there are many factors that can change the final answer:

cow breed
cow size
cow genetics
how cold the winter is
is there any winter grazing available
hay bale size and actual weight
type of hay
etc. etc.

Here's a link to a pdf from UGa. http://georgiaforages.caes.uga.edu/Ga_Cat_Arc/2012/SF1209.pdf about buying hay and round bale weights and here's a link to a thread on Yahoo answers about small square bales.
 

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As others have correctly stated, it depends on many variables. Are these cattle going on a strictly hay diet? Will there be any grazing available? Given your location unless you are putting them in a dry lot they should have some grazing availabe during the winter. I am in southside VA and there are grazing days available all winter. It is just sporadic in the heart of winter. Local advice and experience is paramount when it comes to hay use planning.

I start off at 3 large round bales (5x5) per mature cow/per winter as base, then judge how the pastures are looking mid-November to estimate whether that will be sufficient. It should be less for you, imho, given your latitude. FYI, my estimates are usually wrong..............
 

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Around 2 percent of body weight per day, more if they are nursing calves. Don't forget to allow for waste, at least 10 percent.
 

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I figure 3 percent of body weight. This allows for a longer than normal winter, or a colder than normal winter. Also, my cows haven't seen the inside of my barn this winter, so they need to keep that rumen churning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hello I'm in SE Georgia right on the Georgia Florida Line and I was wondering how y'all figure how many bales of hay you need per cow per month over a 3 month winter season. I know the exact number would depend on many different factors but what I'm looking for is a simple "guesstimate" of bales of hay per cow per month. Thanks for your time!
Wow I didn't realize I would receive so many great answers! I wanted to thank you all for replying.
Later Bob><>
 
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