This awesome cow is actually 1.4 Animal Units!
Read more on how we determine how many
animal units we have on our farm!
Wikipedia defines an animal unit (AU) as "a standardized measure of animals used for various agricultural purposes.A 1,000-pound beef cow is the standard measure of an animal unit. The dry matter forage requirement of one animal unit is 26 pounds per day. Animal unit equivalents (AUE) are calculated for various other animals." At 840 animals, we are calculating each cow to be 1.4 animals units! That's right, those cows are the largest AUE possible! Even horses are only 1.3 AUE and beef cattle are only 1 AUE! Now, if we have 2 herds of cows, one with about 100 and the other with 200...than at my calculation, we have 420 AUE in just the lactating cows! Now figure that a cow has 1 calf each year, and half of those are usually bull calves, which are sold.....and we are talking at least another 300 head of heifers and calves...also to be included in the final AUE count. Now, adding calves and heifers, we are almost to 650 AUE. The extra 200 AUE accounts for any additional cows we add in the years to come. To see the worksheet we used to do our math, check this out!
Seems scary at first to see such large numbers, but if you take some time to really analyze what these numbers actually stand for, it makes perfect sense! Hopefully this clears the air on what an "animal unit" actually is!