How many cows and what type.

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by daytrader, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. daytrader

    daytrader Well-Known Member

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    I am pretty new to cattle. I have 3 acres with a great established pasture of mixed grasses.

    The fence type is 5 strand 12.5 g high tension line with 2 of them electric.

    How many cows and what type should I look for?

    I have no problem bringing in extra feed when needed.

    So how many is about the right number for 3 acres?

    I would like to put one horse and maybe 6 cattle out there. Is that to many or can I put more?

    The water will be rain water run off from my rain gutters and hose filled water tanks. The pasture area is cut in half and I can rotate is needed.

    The shelter is a lean too type steel building facing the east. Walls on 3 sides.

    Any other help would be greatly appricated.

    I get little help around here. Most have said if you do not know then you should not get any cattle. I was thinking WOW, must be nice coming out of the woom as a cattle man.
     
  2. warrior

    warrior Well-Known Member

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    Calves, cow/calf, dairy all have different needs. Feeder calves would be the maximum at that stocking rate if your goal is to feed them off on summer grass and slaughter/sell in the fall. A cow with calf by her side would use just about all of the 3 acres. For dairy You might want to limit to one especially if a horse will be in with it. If hay and feed were brought in then you might be able to add one, of course that would be in addition to the hay fed in winter.
     

  3. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    If you want to graze, it will limit the number down to one or two. However if you plan on feeding year round, 3 acres could easily handle 10 animals, if not more. The back field here is 4 acres, the animals were allowed on 3.5, and all 20 fit in there without any problems, and actually had more room than the need. They were being fed in a bunk, so no grazing. If they were, it would be severely overcrowded. It makes a big difference when you add in feeding all the time, to grazing. Also your cover, if they were smaller it would change the amount.


    Jeff
     
  4. warrior

    warrior Well-Known Member

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    Jeff is right if you were to run it as a feed lot then you can put more on it. My experience has been cow/calf (60+ head at one time) and backgrounding (buying weanling calves feeding them on grass and selling them in the fall). Good grass is essential if you hope to keep costs down. I tend to be conservative on stocking rates as I have seen dad lose out when he had to bring in feed and the market took a down turn. If your planning on the whole sell route watch prices closely.
     
  5. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Is the purpose of having the cattle to make a profit or to have cattle for the enjoyment? For profit I would section the pasture further ( 8 padddocks) and I would have two feeder head that I would either butcher or sell at 1000 lbs and start over. The only costs would be for supplemental feed when the pastures were dormant or the weather was inclimate. For enjoyment I would have a cow/calf setup plus a young bull (in the above recommended divided pasture) that I would market or butcher after he did his service. This setup would require more purchased feed.
     
  6. daytrader

    daytrader Well-Known Member

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    I am more just looking for fun. I sell my chickens and rabbits for my profit. The cattle will just be something new to try.

    I hope to raise my own beef for me and my family. That way we know were it came from.

    We can butcher our own.

    The neibor helps us alot with the chickens and rabbits. He butchers and just takes some meat for his family. No real amount set up. He just dose the work and feeds his family of 9.

    I figured it would be the same with the beef. He is very able to do it. He has before.

    What is nice is he lends a hand when needed. I have talked to him about the cattle. He said he would help. With the care when I am to busy and butcher for meat. Seems like a fair trade for me.

    We do the same thing with our deer. He cleans them and what he can't do we send fresh cut meat to the butcher shop to make our sausage and such. Much cheaper when we send them meat ready to process.

    With the deer it is a little diff. We both hunt, him more then me. I pay the processing charges, he dose the work and we split the meat. I know that may not seem like a good deal to sum, but it works well for us.
     
  7. Carol K

    Carol K Well-Known Member

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    do the rotational grazing and maybe pick something like a smaller breed of cow, Dexter, Highland etc. They are not so hard on your pasture, do well on not such great pasture, you'll get a nice family sized carcass, maybe a couple of cows and a bull. Lots of ways you can go, have fun, I do the same on about 5 acres, (2 is wooded though).

    Carol
     
  8. Hammer4

    Hammer4 Well-Known Member

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    With 3 acres, I would recomend a smaller breed ( like Carol mentioned ). We have Dexters, you could run a couple Dexter cow/calf pairs on that area pretty reasonably, especially if you rotate them thru paddocks regularly so it doesn't get overgrazed in one spot.

    The determining factor is rain, really. If you don't get any and all your grass stops growing, you will have to pen them up and feed hay until you get some rain or they will reduce it to bare dirt pretty quickly.