Cows/Cattle/cows and cattle


QUESTION: If I want to start farming cows,how many cows in on one acre of land is safe to start with? What is the best feeding for them?

ANSWER: Good evening,

That will depend on the type of property you have, and how much there is for a cow to eat on it.  I would contact your local "extension agent" (should be located at the county seat, in the courthouse.) and ask that question.  They are better prepared to tell you an average "cow / calf pair" to an acre ratio.  It will also depend on what type of cows.  Are you thinking of pairs?  (Raising calves) Or are you thinking of "stocker cattle".  (Buying young weaned calves and feeding them until they are ready for a feedlot)  

Depending on which of the two you decide, what they require as far as feed will be different from each group.  With stocker calves your goal is to put as much weight on them as possible in the least amount of time.. since you make money by the pounds they gain.  Here in Texas the stocker ranchers generally plant oats or wheat in the winter, and graze the calves on that for gain.  I don't know if you have grass year 'round there?  Here it pretty much dies out once we get a frost, and then starts back in early spring.  We feed hay, or range cubes, or a premixed feed during the times the grass isn't proficient.

Hope this helps ! Let me know if you have any additional questions. I think the extension agent in your county will be very helpful.


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QUESTION: Yes, my goal is to raise "stocker cattle" as many as I can and put as much weight on them in the less amount of time. The type of cow or cattle I want to raise is for slaughter, what type of cow is that? For that type of cow, what is the general rule of the cow/ acre ratio? for this pupose, what is the best feeder for them? I know I have to coopperate with the County Extension Office, but please, just for knowledge purposes, how many feeder or stock cattle is safe to raise on one acre of land?

ANSWER: Ok.. but you didn't answer my question about "what's on your land"?  Is it improved pasture (coastal, fescue, winter grazing like oats or wheat) or just native pasture?  If the property is generally open with mostly improved grass, you could probably run 1 per 2 or 3 acres, depending on the grass!  If your grass is brown for the winter and doesn't have much food value, then you're going to have to feed the cattle to make them gain weight.  Now you're talking about either putting in an automatic feeder with some kind of "limiter" on the feed intake, or hand feeding daily.  They are going to have to have a balanced diet of protein and roughage to gain the most weight.

This will also depend on what weight these calves are to start.  Are the 350 lbs or 650?


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QUESTION: I want to raise them inside of a building and hand feed or automatically feed them pre-grown wheatgrass, is this a good thing? The building will be located in upper Michigan where it gets really cold in the winter time, but in the summer they will be let out to pasture to feed on native grass, is that a good thing? and why grass, what is it about grass that the cattle must eat?


Ok, you're starting to ask questions that are going to outside my experience.  I don't understand what "pre grown wheat grass" is exactly.  Are you talking about wheat that was dried and baled?  Or silage?  

Native grass is fine, but you need to know what type of grass it is!  Especially if you're trying to get calves to gain.  There are very specific "needs" for a calf to grow and gain weight, as I mentioned before.  They need a certain ratio of protein, fat, and "dry matter" like hay for their stomachs to be able to digest the feed properly.  

It sounds to me like you need the advice of a cattle nutritionist!  I would look at a local college that has a veterinary division, or perhaps a feed manufacturer, like Purina.  



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Eileen DuJardin


I can answer most types of cattle questions, primarily beef types. Genetics, breeding, basic care, herd health and management, and showing. I'm knowledgeable in forages and feeding. Non emergency health and soundness questions. I am not a veterinary, and can't answer critical care questions. Call your local large animal vet for that service.


I've been a registered cattle breeder for over 20 years. My husband and I run a 250 acre cattle ranch in Texas. I've raised dairy cattle, commercial cattle, and registered and show cattle. I'm on our county Beef and Forage committee.

American Simmental Association. American Brahman Breeders Association. Falls County Beef and Forage Committee. Texas Farm Bureau

Associates Degree in computer science.

Awards and Honors
Many ribbons and placings in cattle showing, with most recent being: 2011 Fort Worth Stock Show, Senior Champion Simmental, and Houston Livestock Show Reserve Champion Senior Simmental.

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