Author Topic: How many cows can i keep on 18 acres of land?  (Read 3596 times)

amd7000

  • Joined May 2012
How many cows can i keep on 18 acres of land?
« on: May 15, 2012, 10:40:53 PM »
Hi all, newby here. ;D  Me and my wife have 18 acres of land with an 8m x 25m barn. We would like to farm cattle for a modest secondary income.  We have no experience with cattle but have kept chickens on part of the land for 4 years,but i'm not keen on them,sorry . :-[  We know a couple of large successful farmers and may be able to gain help from them.  We are in nottinghamshire and have been told the land is excellent for farming, theres currently wheat growing.  What would be the best way to profit from cattle, or is the land too small for cattle or any livestock?   Thanks Andy
« Last Edit: May 16, 2012, 12:29:36 AM by amd7000 »

Mammyshaz

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Durham
Re: How many cows can i keep on 18 acres of land?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2012, 10:54:45 PM »
Sorry, cannot help with query but welcome to the forum  :wave:

amd7000

  • Joined May 2012
Re: How many cows can i keep on 18 acres of land?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2012, 11:21:15 PM »
Hi and thanks. :D

amd7000

  • Joined May 2012
Re: How many cows can i keep on 18 acres of land?
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2012, 01:23:35 AM »
Should mention we would like to build a house or convert the barn in the future whilst still keeping cattle/livestock.

Dan

  • The Accidental Smallholder
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Re: How many cows can i keep on 18 acres of land?
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2012, 06:51:17 AM »
The land's definitely not too small to keep livestock. We have 12 acres and keep sheep, cattle (2 Shetlands about to calf plus a bullock), poultry, and weaners, on reasonable (but slowly improving) grazing.

You need to work out a plan for the land and income. A lot depends on your personal circumstances, how much income you need, how quickly, what the land's like, what breeds you keep, and so on.

There's a brief series of guides on the site that might be useful reading:
HTH.

Dan  :)

tizaala

  • Joined Mar 2011
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Re: How many cows can i keep on 18 acres of land?
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2012, 07:50:09 AM »
3 cows or horses
5 sheep
to the acre as a rough guide
but one pig can destroy the lot.
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robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: How many cows can i keep on 18 acres of land?
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2012, 08:53:41 AM »
now i know you want the business so you can get a house       you freely admit to knowing sod all about cattle so are needing led by the hand on your journey       my best advice is if it is as good as you say grow wheat and forget about cattle     :farmer:

Haylo-peapod

  • Joined Mar 2012
Re: How many cows can i keep on 18 acres of land?
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2012, 11:40:30 AM »
3 cows or horses
5 sheep
to the acre as a rough guide
but one pig can destroy the lot.

Maybe I'm mistaken but I always thought in general it was 1 cow to the acre?   ???

Dan

  • The Accidental Smallholder
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Re: How many cows can i keep on 18 acres of land?
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2012, 12:22:43 PM »
3 cows or horses
5 sheep
to the acre as a rough guide
but one pig can destroy the lot.


Maybe I'm mistaken but I always thought in general it was 1 cow to the acre?   ???


The answer, as with almost everything related to stocking rates, is "it depends". On the breed, the age and purpose of the animals, the grass, the climate, whether winter forage is grown or bought in, etc, etc.

These are the guideline livestock units Rosemary sourced:

http://www.accidentalsmallholder.net/smallholding/grassland-management/livestock-units/

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Far North West of England
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: How many cows can i keep on 18 acres of land?
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2012, 02:19:04 PM »
Yes, I thought the rule of thumb was 1 ac grazing and 1 ac for winter forage per cow or per horse or per 5 sheep.  Obviously varies muchly according to the type of ground - and the type of stock; a native/primitive breed may need no more than half what a continental would.

I had the same thought as robert - it would seem the livestock enterprise is in order to prove viabiity in order to get planning permission to build.

There're some people somewhere on t'internet who offer consultancy and will also supply the livestock to help you do exactly that, using alpacas.  Do some Googling.

Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

HappyHippy

  • Joined Jul 2012
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Re: How many cows can i keep on 18 acres of land?
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2012, 03:08:48 PM »
There're some people somewhere on t'internet who offer consultancy and will also supply the livestock to help you do exactly that, using alpacas.  Do some Googling.
So that's why Alpaca's are so expensive then  ;) Knew I had to be missing something  ;D

amd7000

  • Joined May 2012
Re: How many cows can i keep on 18 acres of land?
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2012, 03:40:29 PM »
Wow!  Thanks for the advice.  Definately some thinking and googling needed.:)

We want to be as eco friendly and efficient as possible using a wind turbine and solar panels(i know the're not great) and be almost self sufficient.  We have ideas of growing on livestock with cattle being the main concern and also chickens(meat/eggs) veg plot etc. We basically want to make the land our future and will invest as much as it takes to do it properly, obviously there's a limit to the amount of cash but...

As pointed out I know there are a lot of negatives by doing this but with help and education surely this is possible?

Thanks again and thanks Dan and Rosemary for a great website. :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: May 17, 2012, 12:35:30 AM by amd7000 »

belgianblue

  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: How many cows can i keep on 18 acres of land?
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2012, 01:55:29 PM »
Hi all, newby here. ;D  Me and my wife have 18 acres of land with an 8m x 25m barn. We would like to farm cattle for a modest secondary income.  We have no experience with cattle but have kept chickens on part of the land for 4 years,but i'm not keen on them,sorry . :-[  We know a couple of large successful farmers and may be able to gain help from them.  We are in nottinghamshire and have been told the land is excellent for farming, theres currently wheat growing.  What would be the best way to profit from cattle, or is the land too small for cattle or any livestock?   Thanks Andy

is the land registered as agriculture, you will not be able to build an house on the property. Hence you be requiring to live in an caravan for the first 10 years or so.....
you can put an healthy 20 plus cattle onto grass quite easily next year.
my advise is to go to your next neighbours who have cattle and get use to working with 3/4 of ton animal up close and personal compare to handling an couple of kg chicken.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: How many cows can i keep on 18 acres of land?
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2012, 09:41:45 AM »
Remember there are small cattle too that are worth looking at. Our breed is teh Shetland - cows about 350-400kg, thrifty, hardy and docile but able to calve and rear a continental X calf, but much cheaper to maintain than a 3/4 tonne continental cow.

Have a look at the Shetland cattle website.

amd7000

  • Joined May 2012
Re: How many cows can i keep on 18 acres of land?
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2012, 07:49:49 PM »
Thanks for all the info.  Its very helpful.  At the moment the whole plan doesn't look like it would work, but there's nothing wrong with dreaming, ey?  Shame really, we're going to have to sell the house and downsize in a few years and the land is connected to the house property.
Those shetlands look lovely and would be a great choice for us but we would probably have to get them dehorned. Another farmer I know has had too many injuries with horned cattle.  Was looking at dexters but they seem too small?
 
« Last Edit: May 22, 2012, 08:14:30 PM by amd7000 »

 

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