How many cows to a round bale of hay?

Hempstead, TX(Zone 8a)

Well, it has been a long time since I have been here to DG's. I let my subscription go unrenewed, and then I went to NY for a month. And then I came back and there was work to be done.

Anyway, I have missed DG's and I am glad to be back.

My qyestion pertains to hay and cows. How many cows to a round bale (5'x5')? We have been blessed with much rain and good growing weather. Tommy, our hay cutter guy, came over yesterday and cut and will be here tomorrow to rake and bale. Last year I miscalculated terribly and ended up having to buy hay (not so good stuff) at a high price. I am located in southeast Texas if that will help in the caluculating.

Thanks for the help

Melissa

southeast, NE

Hi Melissa,

There are a lot of ?'s to be answered, i.e. quality of hay, type of hay, how tight bales are wound, etc. I am a firm believer of calling the County Extension service with questions like this.

Glad you're getting rain!

Hempstead, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks. I did call my extension agent and he responded as you did. I will get as much of the scoop from my hay guy and go from there.

Thanks again

Falls Mills, VA

Melissah:
When you get an answer will you please post it here? I would like to know the answer too.
V

Hempstead, TX(Zone 8a)

Yes, I will.

Hempstead, TX(Zone 8a)

I spoke to a woman today who has been raising cattle and breeding and raising warmbloods for some 20+ years in southeast Texas. Mary figures 3 (5x5) round bales to one cow. Last year they did not have to start feeding hay until December. Of course variables will differ, but it is a place to begin. My extension agent counsels first and foremost to have one years hay in storage.

Beginning in August I am going to be taking some courses on ranch and farm management. One of our field trips is going to be all about hay from a to z.

Very hot and dry here. Difficult to do much more than what is absolutely necessary.

Melissa

Falls Mills, VA

Melissah:
We just finished putting up our first cutting here. Its just me and a neighbor working on it. We have two small 40hp tractors and a square baler....so it goes slow and is labor intensive. Plus we are baleing a lot of it on hillsides which slows things down even more. I ended up with 725 bales in the barn, this should be a good start on what I need to bring 8 head through the winter. Let me know how the class goes, I hope our county extension agent will put on a similar one......kind of a Cow 101 class.

It has been terribly hot and humid here the past few days. Good haying weather, but miserable.

Here is a pic of the tractor and the baler on a hillside. It doesn't seem that steep in the picture but it seems steeper when the baler starts pushing the tractor.......or when the lower wheel drops into a groundhog hole and you wonder if the whole thing is about to turn over!

Keith

Thumbnail by Virginian
Falls Mills, VA

the view from the tractor seat

Thumbnail by Virginian
Southern Mountains, GA(Zone 6b)

Beautiful country there. Are you in western Virginia? Good luck with your work.

Hempstead, TX(Zone 8a)

Hey Keith

Thanks for the snaps. We have no hills or even slight mounds (except the ant beds). Your land is beautiful. There must be some sort of "work well done" feeling after cutting, raking, and baling on one's own.

I have attached a snap of Thomas Jozwiak and one of his John Deere's. This was our first cut last year.

Thumbnail by MelissahL
Falls Mills, VA

Roseone33:
Yes, I am in southwest Virginia. The land in the picture is my neighbor's. We mow hay there. My land is out of sight to the right of the picture. Its prime white tail country too.

Melissah:
Thanks. Yes there is a feeling of 'work well done' when I look at a field and know the hay that used to stand there is now stacked in bales in the barn. See the green area down the hill from the camera? We baled that two weeks ago, so that is new growth you see coming back, mostly clover. It also takes away the worry of what I am going to feed those cows this winter.

What is that Thomas is mowing with? a mower/conditioner? I see a few of them around here. The farmers that use them mow one day and bale the next day. Thay also wrap their bales in plastic. Haylage I think it is called.

Salina, KS(Zone 6a)

Born and raised out in the flatlands of western Kansas. Hard to imagine baling hay in fields as steep as those. You certainly live in beautiful country.

Hempstead, TX(Zone 8a)

Good Morning-

I am not sure what Thomas is cutting with. I will ask him. He does mow one day and then rakes and bales 2 days later. You guys must have had some nice rain there for the grass to be coming back so nicely. Will you cut and bale the clover?

I lived in Charlottesville for 2 years after leaving NY and then coming to Texas. I used to go out to the southwest part of your state to visit with patients. And sometimes I would hop on "11" and drive north. Some beautiful farms there.

Falls Mills, VA

Yes, we plan to mow the clover again in early September. We have had a lot of rain this spring. Its rains so much here that it is hard to get the hay to cure. I live near Rt 11, it parallels I-81. Many beautiful farms in the Shenandoah Vallay, and around Charlottesville area. Thats horse country too.

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Gee, Keith, I thought you were talking about real hills! ; ) We have one spot where you drive uphill and down slope at the same time - it can do awkward things to your stomach when there's a baler and most of a load of hay behind you. Stan's dad had a wagon roll there, and a kid that worked for us one summer took out a drawbar with interesting results. I was always soooo careful when I was chopping or baling that piece.

It looks like Melissah's friend is using a discbine. JD and New Holland both make good ones. We had one JD and are on the second NH.

We have one field of second cutting - timothy and clover mix - left and Stan will sell that to a guy we know who has two pet Jerseys. They haven't milked in over 10 years and are so fat they look like herefords. He feeds them well, and they follow him around like dogs. He gets 100 bales of second cutting for them every year.

Falls Mills, VA

Kathleen:
Oh there have been a few tractors turned over on that hill in the pic.....LOL. The previous owner turned over two tractors there in one season. I am not going to make the same mistake. I just found out that we have picked up an additional 10 acres of hay from another neighbor, I am thinking we don't even need to mow this hill anymore, just use it as pasture. The new acreage is all flat, easy mowing. Mow on the flats, pasture on the steep.
Keith

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

There you go - much easier, and sometimes life saving as well.

Glen Burnie, MD(Zone 7a)

Melissa: here is a link I found. Don't know if it will help.

http://www.haybarn.com/references/animal_units.asp

Hempstead, TX(Zone 8a)

noobiegardner - thanks for the link. I found it quite helpful.

We have had a good deal of rain here ( a very true blessing) and if all goes well should get 2 more cuttings. I now have one year of round bales put away for my cows, and square bales for the goats and the horse.

My hope is to get enough round bales so that they can be sold to the ranchers in south Texas. They have had a very bad time for the last couple of years. I have been cautioned to sell directly to the farmer/rancher. I am about to begin my research on that. Any input would be gladly appreciated.

Now, as far as hills and mountains and cutting hay. . .I would leave that to the professionals. While I miss the mountains of NY and VA, I love the flat land we have during the haying season.

Kathleen, thanks for identifying the tractor part Thomas uses.

Glen Burnie, MD(Zone 7a)

Melissa...there are other links on that site and you can post ads of hay for sale. It seems to be a really neat site. I'm still looking at it.

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