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Old 03-29-2012, 07:11 PM
Corsican Corsican is offline
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How much land do you need for the following animals?

1) Meat cow
2) Pigs
3) Sheep


For the cow, do you 2 or 3 or ? acres to raise it properly? (including feed lot rotation)

Pigs: can you let them run around in a 10 acres wooded lot? How many can you put in ten acres without turning into a mud pit?

Sheep... I heard somewhere that sheep are tougher on the land because they graze differently than the cattle. Any truth to that? How many sheep can you have per acre?
Old 03-29-2012, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corsican View Post
How much land do you need for the following animals?

1) Meat cow
2) Pigs
3) Sheep


For the cow, do you 2 or 3 or ? acres to raise it properly? (including feed lot rotation)

Pigs: can you let them run around in a 10 acres wooded lot? How many can you put in ten acres without turning into a mud pit?

Sheep... I heard somewhere that sheep are tougher on the land because they graze differently than the cattle. Any truth to that? How many sheep can you have per acre?
Every bit of this depends on your location. In central Colorado we need 20 to 30 acres per cow. Back east or even up north they figure so many cows per acre.
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:33 PM
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Definitely depends on location. Your closest Ag Extension office can offer specifics and may help you identify your grasses to facilitate that estimate. In the KY mountains, a cow needs ~4 acres on the ridgetops and just 1/4 mile away in the more fertile valleys one may require just 2 to 2 1/2. Fertilizer and seeding will improve your odds, but again, the Extension office is a big help on this and many subjects. Don't forget to canvas for poisonous or harmful weeds and trees if the animals you plan on have not been run there recently.
Good Luck!
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:33 PM
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A lot depends and can't be answered easily without knowing more. Do you intend to supplement your herd? Is the pastures improved grasses, do you get plenty of rain, what is your range management plan... and on and on.

As to letting your hogs run wild on 10 acres, you will have more problems than you know how to deal with. Those domestic pigs will be wild hogs in just a couple of months. They will tear up everything in their path, fences, crops, etc.
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:27 PM
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Well if you live over here in NM in general you need between 10 up to around 80 acres for a cow calf pair if you don't want to buy hay. If you live somewhere else like Louisiana or GA etc, the acreage can be much smaller. So the location of your land is the key to how much it takes. The very best place to find an answer to that is the local county extension agent in the county where your land is located.


And for the hogs, don't just let them range on your land because they will escape and create a feral population that will destroy everything. Just ask the guys in South Texas who have to hold hog hunts in order to get rid of them.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:10 PM
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Sheep are NOT tougher, but they do graze more closely to the land. That means that they can eat more of a pasture, but it ALSO means that the grass will get worn out and your next years grazing will be injured.

The job of the shepherd used to be to move the herds before they grazed the grass closly enough to damage it. In modern times, the farmer moves the sheep to another field to prevent them from killing the grass.

In my area I think 4 sheep per acre plus hay in the winter is right, but I am not sure. Also I live in Kansas and we raise very good grass: in many states the grass is sparse.

Oh, yes.

Before every farmer had a tractor, folks used to "hog off" crops. They would have SMALL fields of a couple of acres of crops, and when the corn was ready they would turn the hogs out into them. That meant that the farmer did not have to do the work by hand. I cannot imagine what kind of fences they used, but they must have been pretty good. Pigs are noted for going through fences.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corsican View Post
How much land do you need for the following animals?

1) Meat cow
2) Pigs
3) Sheep


For the cow, do you 2 or 3 or ? acres to raise it properly? (including feed lot rotation)

Pigs: can you let them run around in a 10 acres wooded lot? How many can you put in ten acres without turning into a mud pit?

Sheep... I heard somewhere that sheep are tougher on the land because they graze differently than the cattle. Any truth to that? How many sheep can you have per acre?
for a cow you need roughly 2 acres per cow you can keep about 7 goats in the same space and not sure about sheep but they will need to be rotated to other similar sized pastures to not kill the grass id say you prol need maby 4-6 acres per cow if they will be totally grass fed
Old 03-29-2012, 10:15 PM
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I was told I copuld raise 3 summer lambs (butcher in the fall) on 1/2 acre but would do some damage and may need some hay towards fall. My land is just grass with some clover in Maryland.

there is a book called "an acre and security". very good book.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:43 PM
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it just depends - if you had a fertilized and irrigated pasture and you went with rotational grazing you'd need a lot less land than the typical beef herd out west that grazes on hundreds or thousands acres of relatively crappy but cheap BLM type land.
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:08 AM
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Cattle use their tongue to sort of lick and tear grass. As such it has to be longer

Sheep use their front teeth and bite. They can graze lower.

My last place, it was 1 stock unit per acre, and a stock unit could consist of one cattlebeast, or 4 sheep.

If you're going to run both cattle and sheep run the cattle first, and the sheep behind them in your rotation. Cows won't eat grass cows have weed on, sheep won't eat grass sheep have weed on - but cows will eat grass sheep have weed on, and sheep will eat grass cows have weed on. so you get a really nice tidy cropping of the pasture. Also they don't share worms.

Your rotation needs to take into consideration withholding periods for worms for the stock you are running. Remember goats never become immune to worms whereas sheep and cattle develop some immunity.

I've never grown pigs so know nothing about them other than that where i come from they're sent in to dig the vege patch every spring. I simply cannot imagine a small group of pigs ruining a 10 acre lot but I don't know anything about your environment or how many pigs you want to run.
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:20 AM
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I was told I copuld raise 3 summer lambs (butcher in the fall) on 1/2 acre but would do some damage and may need some hay towards fall. My land is just grass with some clover in Maryland.

there is a book called "an acre and security". very good book.
3 lambs over summer - butcher in autumn/fall? half an acre? no. not half. a whole acre at a pinch? How fast does your grass grow? And as to damage... You'd use a mobile electric fence. Move them when the grass gets down.

Give it a shot but be prepared to kill early. You can only know your land by trying things out. Maybe try two. ?
Old 03-30-2012, 03:37 PM
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Thank you all for the info...

Cow need a lot more acreage than I thought. I was thinking about "free roaming" them on 50 acres them as well as 10 acres for the pigs but by the sounds of it, it would be a complete mess and half..

If you are raising meat cow for the market, how long does it take? Will the spring calf be big enough by december?
Are you better off (financially speaking) feeding it through the winter and part of the following year to get a higher weight?

Thanks agin for the input..
Old 03-30-2012, 05:57 PM
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Thank you all for the info...

Cow need a lot more acreage than I thought. I was thinking about "free roaming" them on 50 acres them as well as 10 acres for the pigs but by the sounds of it, it would be a complete mess and half..

If you are raising meat cow for the market, how long does it take? Will the spring calf be big enough by december?
Are you better off (financially speaking) feeding it through the winter and part of the following year to get a higher weight?

Thanks agin for the input..
Well, for a start you get a weaner steer for meat, there's something about eating a heifer... well you can if you like I guess. ???

So this thing is six months old and you want to take it to 2 years, or 2 1/4 to get any real meat off it. If you only take it to 20 months it's not so good. It can gain a kilo a day on good grass when it's coming up to 2 yrs old. Some will keep them to 3 yrs old and then you can get a beast that's 1000 kg. or more. At around 2 he might be 600kg? You get 1/4 of the meat back on kill (The carcase is half the live weight, give or take, when skin and guts are removed. the cut out rate is half the carcase weight, give or take, when all bones are removed.) What you want is to get it killed after your last good grass growth in either spring or autumn at around 2 - 2 1/4. You can get weaners early or late - depending on when mum calved.

So at any rate that's one winter on feed. don't expect any major weight gain on hay, it won't fatten on hay but it gets you through the winter. In new zealand we don't do weird corn feed - and it gives me the creeps anyway. to engineer corn so that cows can digest it is just worrying. So I have only ever fed grass, hay, apples for training (they kill for apples, and peppermints.) and multifeed nuts just if I felt hay wasn't enough (about 1 litre each a day.)
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:41 PM
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Some will keep them to 3 yrs old and then you can get a beast that's 1000 kg. or more. At around 2 he might be 600kg?

What you want is to get it killed after your last good grass growth in either spring or autumn at around 2 - 2 1/4. You can get weaners early or late - depending on when mum calved.

So at any rate that's one winter on feed. don't expect any major weight gain on hay, it won't fatten on hay but it gets you through the winter. In new zealand we don't do weird corn feed - and it gives me the creeps anyway. to engineer corn so that cows can digest it is just worrying. So I have only ever fed grass, hay, apples for training (they kill for apples, and peppermints.) and multifeed nuts just if I felt hay wasn't enough (about 1 litre each a day.)
Great info... 1200lb at 2
what do you train your cows to do?
What are multifeed nuts?
Old 03-30-2012, 06:50 PM
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Great info... 1200lb at 2
what do you train your cows to do?
What are multifeed nuts?
You want them to come here, basically. You want them to hang around you, so that moving them to new pasture is easy. So that if they get out, they'll follow you back in. If you need to get him into a truck, you need to halter train him, teach him to walk with you, over wood. They don't like different things under their feet. So you sort of teach them.

It's incredibly easy. All you have to do is have stuff they like, and they SERIOUSLY like apples and oddfellows - large peppermints. They'll just about do anything for them.

think of a steer as a two year old child: a bit of a nag, but loves mummy, follows mummy, wants a scratch, wants a rub... wants to love you, all, as you say, 1200lb of him. It helps if he's a good boy.

If you were to go back to nature, you would want to halter train him, teach him to plow. this is what 'oxen' are, and the reason oxen were used instead of horses was they have waaay better torque - like a diesel compared to a petrol engine, you can get a hell of a lot more out of a steer at low speed than a horse. They also don't die at the drop of a hat like a horse.

Now - what's a multifeed nut?

http://www.stockfeed.co.nz/Stock_Feed.html - have a look. They're a kind of pellet made up of all sorts of goodies that ruminants love, and they'll kill for them just about. Absolutely love them. I'm sure there will be an outfit in the States that makes something similar.
Old 03-30-2012, 06:55 PM
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Modern pigs don't do well on open range. They have been bred to eat grain. If you try and run them on free range you will have some small stunted pigs.
Old 03-30-2012, 07:47 PM
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As almost all have said:

1) Its dependent upon what REGION of the US you live in, what state, county and YOUR land

2) Check the rain fall tables thru the county extension agent for YOUR property.

3) What kind of property do YOU have. Cultivated, natural grasses and trees, % of foragable land.

Here where I am I should be able to run a goat per acre, but last year I could not do that. We did not get enough rain to regenerate the forage so I had to feed them. Right now alpha is going for $18 PER BALE. And that is a 35 lb bale. I can remember buying it off the field following the baler and paying .50 cents per for 115 lb bale. At the field gate it ran .75, per bale, in town a $1-$1.50 for qty. I was buying 3500 bales.

I have friends that were spending $200 per mo to feed the horse stock and are now spending $2000 for 6 horses. All because of the drought we have last year.

4) Drought table, when was the last, how often? Buy a Farmers Alamac, they are very accurate.

5) Do you plan of supplementing their forage? If so then figure on the low side or you could be staring major feed bills in the face.

6) Go around to the feed stores and talk to them, they have a lot of knowledge. Also look to see what else they sell, especially guns and women's clothes. Not rare to find that in a feed store that sells to ranchers. Guy can slide in a nice long rifle on his feed bill and no one and the IRS will ever know the difference. Of course your wife and teen daughter also know about the women's clothes..."just put it on his monthly feed bill"

DO YOUR HOMEWORK or it will be a hellva lot cheaper to buy hamburger and pork chops down at HEB than to raise your own. Ask the extension agent to visit your place, he will or certainly should even for just a single goat or a calf, that is his job.

Let us what you sort out...
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:28 PM
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6) Go around to the feed stores and talk to them, they have a lot of knowledge. Also look to see what else they sell, especially guns and women's clothes. Not rare to find that in a feed store that sells to ranchers. Guy can slide in a nice long rifle on his feed bill and no one and the IRS will ever know the difference. Of course your wife and teen daughter also know about the women's clothes..."just put it on his monthly feed bill"


This particular statement confused me... Because I am a total newbie, I guess. Why would you need to not have the rifle be apparent, and whose business is it of the IRS what you buy with your money, anyways? I don't get it. I'm more worried about the gun control nazis and the bleeding heart animal lovers that think farm animals are PETS... than the IRS. As long as you report what you make and they get their cut... they could care less. Can someone please explain this? Am I missing something?
Old 03-09-2013, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobo14 View Post
Well if you live over here in NM in general you need between 10 up to around 80 acres for a cow calf pair if you don't want to buy hay. If you live somewhere else like Louisiana or GA etc, the acreage can be much smaller. So the location of your land is the key to how much it takes. The very best place to find an answer to that is the local county extension agent in the county where your land is located.


And for the hogs, don't just let them range on your land because they will escape and create a feral population that will destroy everything. Just ask the guys in South Texas who have to hold hog hunts in order to get rid of them.
Out here they say 18-20 acres per cow. Not much to browse out here. Chickens on the other hand do very well free range here.
Old 03-09-2013, 01:09 PM
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All your questions can be answered with a trip to your county agents office who will be happy to talk to you and he will have a bushel basket full of pamphlets for you with as much or as little detail as you could hope for. You can't ask me in SW Wisconsin who lives on a 'Dry Oak Savannah' what you need because unless you lived next door to me it wouldn't do you any good.
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