Stocking rates in Texas differ from 1 cow per acre top top heavily controlled pasture in the Eastern section of the state to 1 cow every 150 acre (4 cows per section) in the infectious diseases world fashion Pecos an ar of the state.

In this write-up I’ll give you a range of stocking rates for several Texas regions and tell you just how to determine how many livestock your land have the right to support, no issue where you space in the U.S.!

Cows every Acre in Texas
Texas Region Improved/Managed Pasture Native Pasture Woodland
eastern Texas 1 AU / 1-3 acres 1 AU / 3-6 acre 1 AU / 50-75 acres
Edwards Plateau 1 AU / 2-6 acre 1 AU / 10-60 acres 1 AU / 50-75 acre
Pan manage 1 AU / 2-6 acres 1 AU / 20-50 acres N/A
short article Oak Savannah 1 AU / 3-6 acres 1 AU / 8-15 acres 1 AU / 50-75 acres
southern Texas levels 1 AU / 2.5 – 8 acre 1 AU / 15-30 acre 1 AU / 35-60 acre
West Texas N/A 1 AU / 35-150 acre N/A
1 pet Unit (AU) =1,000lb cow through calf

For more articles about livestock and also cattle in Texas, inspect out ours Livestock Section.

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This topic appears to be among the most misunderstood topics indigenous landowners. Many brand-new landowners depend on STOCKING RATE advice from neighbors or native the male leasing their building to operation cattle. While over there is something come be claimed for experience, I have personally watched this advice result in over grazed pastures which look much an ext like parking lots 보다 fields.

QUICK DEFINITION: Stocking price is characterized as the lot of land allocated to each pet for the grazable duration of the year. I.e. 1 AU / 15 Acres

How numerous cows will your land assistance in Texas?

If you have actually livestock, or setup on running livestock on your property, it’s essential that you understand how numerous head your property have the right to support, known as your property’s Carrying Capacity. This is defined as the variety of animals her property have the right to support year after year there is no exhibiting damages to the vegetation or connected resources.

Understanding this number is important because if girlfriend understock you will not maximize breed boy production. However, if you overstock, your building will lose vegetation productivity, exhibit soil compaction, floor loss, a lose of wildlife diversity, and a organize of other aftermath that deserve to take year to recuperate from. Overstocking will at some point reduce her property’s carrying capacity.

What is an pet Unit?

Livestock come in countless shapes and also sizes and also include cattle, sheep, and goats. There is huge variability in the dimension of cattle also. Some cattle breeds are larger than others and also require much more forage. Because there is such a variability in size for livestock, selection managers and also cattlemen use a standardized term referred to as an Animal Unit.

An animal UNIT represents a 1,000lb cow (with or without a calf under 6 month old). A cow that this dimension consumes 26lbs that dry issue forage every day or 9,490 lbs/year.

Dry load is calculation by dry grass clippings in stove until there is no moisture remaining. Think that 26lbs of dry hay vs 26lbs of new grass clippings.

If you would like particular dry matter need requirements for cattle throughout a collection weights check out this nifty Dry Matter demand Chart for great of cattle.

It’s important to understand this concept because as we work through calculating the transferring capacity of your property, we will carry out so by calculating the number of Animal systems it deserve to support over a 1 year period.

We deserve to relate how other grazers compare to an animal unit simply by spring at exactly how much forage they require daily and also prescribing castle an animal Unit tantamount (AUE). For example, a maturation goat will certainly consume around 5.2lbs the dry matter per work (1/5 the what a 1,000lb cow eats). So, a goat would have actually an AUE that (.2).

You can also deduce the 5 mature goats consume around the very same as a 1,000lb mama cow, therefore 5 goats same 1 pet unit. The table listed below shows how each kind of breed cub converts to an pet unit.

Type the AnimalAnimal Unit tantamount (AUE)
Beef Cow (yr. Long avg)1.00
Beef Cow (Dry)0.90
Beef Cow (Milking)1.20
Bull (Mature)1.25
Calf (Weaned)0.50
Heifers (13-18 mo.)0.70
Bred Heifers (19-24 mo)0.85
Steers (13-18 mo.)0.70
Steers (19-24 mo.)0.85
Horse (Mature)1.25
Ewe (Mature)0.20
Lamb (1 yr.)0.15
Ram (Mature)0.25
Goat (Mature)0.20
Bighorn Sheep0.20
Deer (Mule)0.15
Deer (White-tailed)0.15

How numerous cows will my soil support? acres per Cow..

Now that you know just how much a cow eats and what an animal Unit is, let’s number out just how many pet Units her land have the right to support across a 1 year timeline. I’m going to store this as simple as feasible for you.

How much forage does your land produce?

The first step in this procedure is to determine just how much forage her land produces. This will rely on the varieties of forage you growing and how much rainfall you get.

How lot forage will you leaving behind for regrowth?

It’s vital to remember the you can’t utilize all of your land’s forage for livestock. Some need to be left behind to regrow year ~ year. A general dominance of ignorance is “Take Half, leave Half” meaning you should leave fifty percent of your land’s forage behind.

Results says that forage production and also livestock productivity ($/acre) optimal by taking fifty percent of the forage and leaving half of the forage. Plants call for leaf area come metabolize and also restore carbohydrates to their root systems. Repeatedly removing sheet will reduce root vigor and can at some point leading to death of the plant. I’ve had references on livestock productivity vs stocking prices at the bottom of this article.

How lot forage renders it into the cow’s stomach? use Rates….

You must likewise understand that not all forage eliminated will make it into the cattle’s gut. About fifty percent of what is gotten rid of decays, gets trampled, or is spend by insects. This is well-known as the use rate and must be applied in the formula below.

Formula to calculate Total annual Forage Available

Let’s work-related through one example, then I display you just how to acquire a particular number for your land.

How come calculate just how many livestock to run on your Property? EXAMPLE

In our example we have a 100 acre building with 50% hefty tree and brush cover. I’ve even contained two scenarios, 1 wherein it’s obviously just 50% will be utilized and another more common scenario whereby tree covering is spread randomly v the property.

Example residential property with 50% coverExample residential or commercial property with 50% cover. In this script the it is more daunting to calculation total accessible forage. Periodically landowners would associate forage manufacturing for 100 acres in layouts like this. In this case, the landowner may over estimate easily accessible forage.

In each instance we only have actually 50 acres of obtainable forage production. Stop assume our forage types is a hybrid Bermudagrass that receives 30” that rainfall per year, fertilized double a year, and also yields 10,000lbs every acre annually. Don’t worry I display you how to calculation your property’s manufacturing below.

Since we have 50 grazeable acres, this would put our Total yearly Forage production at 500,000lbs (50 acre x 10,000lbs that forage production/acre). In this instance our formula would certainly look choose this.

Formula calculating total easily accessible forage from instance above.

Since fine take fifty percent and leaving half, fine multiply our forage production by a 50% and get to 250,000lbs the forage we are willing to eliminate from our pasture.

We must then multiply again through 50% come account for lost forage and also trampling, referred to as use rate, which leaves us v 125,000lbs of total Annual accessible Forage. This is what we will allocate come our livestock.

Here is what our total annual production look at like:

This is how full forage production from her property could be allocated.

How to Calculate transferring Capacity and also determine variety of acres per cow.

Now that we recognize your floor produces 125,000lbs of easily accessible forage, that time come determine just how many pet units it will support across a 1 year timeline.


We division the quantity of our accessible forage by the known yearly consumption the an animal unit and also arrive at a complete carrying volume of just over 13 animal units. This put the stocking price of our 100 acre building at 1 pet Unit /7.7 acres.


Note: If us were fence in the 50 acres of open up pasture our stocking rate for the pasture would be 1 pet unit/3.85 acres.

How to determine how many cattle YOUR land will support?

Now the we’ve resolved an example, I’d choose to teach you just how to determine this number because that your own land.

This is a 3 step process:

Step 1 – recognize how many grazable acres you have

Step 2 – Determine exactly how much forage your land produces

Step 3 – run the calculation over with known animal unit consumption rates.

Step 1 – exactly how to recognize the number of grazeable acres you have?

Just since your property is 100 acre doesn’t mean you have actually 100 grazeable acres. As in the example above you should not include locations not perfect for grazing or forage production.

Areas under heavy woodland, on steep slopes (greater 보다 10%), and also fenced turn off from grazing should not be included in this calculation since your cattle will get small to no worth from this locations.

For huge ranches cattleman have to keep in psychic that livestock get practically no use from areas further than 2 mile from the nearest water source, return this no a trouble for most landowners.

In the example above I display two different 100 acre tracts, each v 50 grazeable acres arranged in two various ways. Do your finest to account for locations with tiny to no grazing value and make sure they’re to exclude, from your grazeable acres so friend don’t end state your property’s forage production.

Use devices such as google earth polygon device to determine total grazeable acres. Girlfriend can likewise have a regional NRCS Agent, Agrilife extension Agent, or Texas Parks and also Wildlife Biologist help with this.

Step 2 – just how to determine exactly how much forage her land produces?

OK, step 1 was easy, the tricky part is really knowing exactly how much her land produces. This will vary wildly relying on where you are in the state, what types of forage (grass) is in your pastures, and how friend are managing it. Nothing worry. Over there is lot of of aid out there to obtain you this number.

I’ve noted 3 alternatives here that will help you out.

You should recognize that there is a scientific an approach that requires clipping a sequence of square meter plots across the year, dry them out, weighing them post drying, and also extrapolating the values across the remainder of your land. This is exactly how the office of Land administration (BLM) determines just how many cattle can be run on that leased soil in the western part of the country.

There space 3 much much easier methods to determine just how much forage her land produces. (NRCS or Agrilife, WebSoil Survey, published production results)

Option 1 – Estimating forage production from the NRCS – web Soil Survey

One of my favorite tools to call Landowners around is the web Soil Survey. It’s a complimentary online tool provided by the USDA-Natural resources Conservation company (NRCS) and also it provides method more information than just soils data.

Historically, if you wanted to learn around soils, yearly rainfall, or pasture performance on your ar you would have picked up a copy of the ar soil inspection at the neighborhood USDA – NRCS (used to be soil Conservations business SCS) office and also thumbed come the map that contained your property. Now every one of that details and an ext is available at your fingertips.

It will likewise give you median production values of native and introduced grasslands. The web soil survey basis this information on soil kind and median rainfall.

Screenshot the Websoil Survey

I’ll short article a indict on exactly how to use this remarkable tool later.

Option 2 – speak to the herbal Resources conservation Service

Did you understand there is a government agency dedicated to help landowners prefer you with questions prefer this? Their duty is to provide unbiased info to assist you best manage your land. By the way, that a complimentary service. Well, it’s sponsor by taxation dollars so free is a family member term, yet you get the drift.


NRCS agents are knowledgeable around soils, wildlife, rangeland management, livestock production, and also crop production. Uncover your neighborhood office by click HERE and select the county your home resides in. Girlfriend can frequently arrange to fulfill an agent onsite in ~ a pair of weeks.

They’ll fulfill you on your property. When onsite they’ll to walk your residential property with you and talk come you around which tree you have actually onsite, how much they produce on an yearly basis and also will help you recognize your autumn rate. They will know what fall rates various other landowners about you space running and also should give you a an excellent indication of what her land will certainly support.

A NRCS agent can additionally discuss which expense sharing program are easily accessible in her area and if she a an excellent candidate because that one. The agent have the right to also help make a map that your residential or commercial property with one overlay of various soil types. Comparable to what you’ll do by using internet Soil Survey.

I participated in an internship because that this organization for 2 summers while in my undergraduate program at Texas A&M. I can tell you that they space all knowledgeable folks and also my experience was very positive through this organization.

Option 3 – (TX Only) call Texas Agrilife Extension


Another free service available to Texas landowners is the Agrilife extension program. Much like the NRCS, this company is specialized to helping landowners. They respond to separation, personal, instance questions and also will come the end to your property and also visit with you around your land.

Click right here to start the process!

Step 3 – operation the calculate on your property

Use the example over and encompass data from your property


I very much hope the you discovered this article helpful! This info is simply scraping the surface ar of a really in depth science. Forage manufacturing is heavily researched roughly the world, as space livestock production and gains. I’ve contained several helpful references below to assist you on your journey.

See more: Is A Speeding Ticket A Misdemeanor In Minnesota, Minnesota'S Speeding Laws And Penalties

We have a ton of various other resources obtainable here because that you. You re welcome feel cost-free to inspect them out.

Resources and Citations

I learned rangeland ecology throughout my undergraduate and also graduate program at Texas A&M University. There are a variety of amazing people and also resources the will aid you on your way. Right here are a few that aided me ~ above mine!