Angus In Field

How Many Cows Can You Have Per Acre in Montana?

Angus In Field

If you’re new to the world of purchasing and raising cattle in Montana, whether you’re a rancher, farmer, or other interested party, you likely have a great deal to learn.

Some things you will learn hands-on, by simply doing what needs to be done, but there are other things that you need to be knowledgeable of from the beginning.

One thing that you need to know is how many cows you can have per acre in Montana.

In order to determine how many cows a rancher can have per acre in Montana, several factors need to be taken into consideration, and the first one is land diversity.

What is Land Diversity?

Land diversity pertains to the state of the grass and surrounding areas of a farm or ranch.

The quality of the grass and availability of water will play a large role in determining the number of cattle you can reasonably care for.

If the grass on your farm or ranch is healthy and high quality and clean, fresh water is plentiful, then you will likely have the ability to care for a greater number of cows.

What About Land-Grass and Rainfall?

Rainfall and land-grass are major determining factors as well when trying to decide how many cows you should acquire.

If there isn’t adequate rainfall, then the grass isn’t able to be replenished as rapidly as necessary.

If your grass-fed cows run out of grass to eat, then what? Sure, you could house them in barns and change their diets to dry feed, but they would no longer be considered grass-fed.

Practicing rainfall forecasting can help you to determine approximately how much rain to expect at any given period.

This can be helpful for determining approximately how many cows you can manage per acre on your Montana Ranch.

Don’t Overwhelm Your Land with Excessive Cattle Numbers

Under normal circumstances, if your land diversity isn’t as good as you’d like it to be, it would be smart to start out with one animal unit per ten acres of land.

One animal unit consists of one adult cow and a calf under a certain weight.

However, if you have excellent land diversity, then you may be able to reasonably obtain more animal units per acre.

Keep in mind that as a new farmer or rancher, you’re just learning the business, so you want to be sure not to take on more than you can comfortably handle.

It’s important to ensure that you don’t obtain more cows than you can properly care for long-term, or you could end up losing money.

Using the Montana Grazing Animal Unit Month Estimator

This estimator can be used to help you to further narrow down how many cows per acre you can manage through the use of a handy method of calculation.

The estimator will help you decide if you can manage more than one animal unit per 10 acres by taking essential factors into consideration like:

  • Specific traits of your cows
  • Supplementation
  • Watering facilities
  • Weather conditions
  • Standing crop
  • Grazing efficiency factor
  • And more

So, as a new rancher, it’s important to ensure that you carefully evaluate all important aspects of your land, the quality of your soil, the number of cows you can ideally manage, what’s the ideal diet for your cows, etc.

Whenever you become fully acclimated to farming and you’re ready for your cows to start regularly producing milk, then you will need access to some high-quality bull semen to use for insemination if you choose not to allow them to conceive the old-fashioned way.

Harrers’ Lost Lake Ranch specializes in raising the highest quality Angus bulls in the industry.

Give them a call when you’re ready to start breeding, so you can ensure your cows give birth to healthy, top-notch calves that will assist you with earning a respectable income in the future.