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Hi! I will have 5 acres of pasture, My plan is to buy 5 weaned Angus calves every 6 months then either, sell, butcher them at 18-24 months. First, is that even a good idea? Ha! Second, if I supplement some with hay and maybe grain finish, is this possible on 5 acres? Would it help if I had 4 -1.25 acres separate pastures to rotate? My place would be in central to Southern NC. I apologize for my naivety, but figured this is a safe place for a beginner. Randy
 

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Greetings,
Welcome to the ever-entertaining world of cows. You are wise to get answers to your questions before getting the animals - learning by doing has its limits. First things to do, before the critters arrive, are to set up a good perimeter fence and a water system. This is really easy before they arrive, very difficult after. Five weaned steers(?) on five acres will most likely require feed supplementation during summer slump and winter dormancy, depending upon the quality of forage you have available. Rotating them through multiple pastures is good, try to give the grass enough time to re-grow between grazings, 30 days, plus or minus, is probably needed. For example, I rotate 20,000 pounds of cattle daily on 1/4 acre paddocks and give the grass a minimum of thirty days to recover before re-grazing. The rule of thumb is that cattle consume 2.5% - 3% of their body weight per day of forage dry matter, plus minerals and maybe a protein supplement. You will want them to grow 2-3 pounds per day until butchering to have the flavor, marbling and tenderness that your customers want. An excellent source of information is Jim Gerrish who writes for several livestock and grazing publications. I highly recommend subscribing to Stockman Grass Farmer and Acres.USA as well as the free industry publications like Progressive Cattle. Gerrish's Management-intensive Grazing is the best book resource I have come across. There is more to successfully raising quality beef than initially meets the eye but you will pick it up quickly if you continue to seek information and it is a whole lot of fun! Good luck.
 
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