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To figure animal units for grazing, do not rely on internet advice! It depends on where you are, what you have for pasture, etc.

I can put one pair per acre, more or less. There are parts of the country where I would be starving my animals at that rate.

Check with your extension or soil conservation office. Ask other people who are raising diary cows in your area. Do not compare what works for beef cows with dairy cows, as their needs are very different.

Jena
 

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HA! I usually find extension offices to be worthless for advice (and I'm a commercial farmer!). I suggest them, because you might get lucky and find a better one in your area!

Here in Illinois, we have a grazing specialist guy who works within the extension system, but I had to find him myself on the internet. He was a very nice, enthusiastic guy. He came and walked my pastures, helped me set up my rotations, etc. Try searching for someone like him for your area. Don't be afraid to track them down and call or email. They actually seem to like that.

Dairy cows generally need more nutrition than beef cows. A beef cow can suffer through a dry summer. She might lose weight, but she will recover. A dairy cow is more likely to simply starve and her milk production would decrease. They are just more sensitive in the nutritional department.

You can also learn alot by putting pieces together. If you learn how to make a feed ration, learn what the nutritional needs of your cow are, then you can find what the values are for the grass you have, what the expected forage tonnage is, etc. Much more work and brain power (and room to make catastrophic error) than finding someone who knows it all for you!

Good luck
Jena
 
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