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Hay Calculator for Livestock Producers, Excel Program (V2019) Instruction Sheet

Publication Number: P2590
View as PDF: P2590.pdf
Publication File:

Winter feeding costs make up a large portion of production costs for Mississippi livestock producers. This Excel-based program will help you evaluate hay feeding delivery systems and their economic impacts. It should provide an accurate estimate of the amount of hay needed for winter feeding as well as the necessary supplementation if hay is not meeting the nutrient requirements of a specific livestock class.

It is essential you estimate how much hay you need for a specific feeding period to ensure animal feeding requirements are met. Not providing the necessary levels of crude protein (CP) and total digestible nutrients (TDN) could affect animal performance and may cause economic losses. The hay calculator is based on different classes of livestock produced in Mississippi and will require a hay test to determine the nutritional value of the hay being fed.

The hay calculator is compatible with Excel 93-2007. To download the hay calculator, click the Excel file link at the top of this page. To use the hay calculator, follow these instructions:

  • Make sure the macro function in your computer is enabled. You can change macro security settings in the Trust Center, unless a system administrator in your organization has changed the default settings to prevent you from changing the settings.
  • On the Developer tab, in the Code group, click Macro Security. If the Developer tab is not displayed, click the Microsoft Office Button, click Excel Options, and then, in the Popular category, under Top Options for Working with Excel, click Show Developer tab in the Ribbon.
  • In the Macro Settings category, under Macro Settings, click the option you want. Any changes you make in the Macro Settings category in Excel apply only to Excel and do not affect any other Microsoft Office program. You can also access the Trust Center in the Excel Options dialog box. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Excel Options. In the Trust Center category, click Trust Center Settings, and then click the Macro Settings category.

Hay Requirements Calculation

Step 1. Enter the personal information that will help to create a report for record-keeping purposes. Put that information in the yellow highlighted section of the Excel sheet. A reset button at the top left corner of the sheet allows you to reset the values once you have printed the calculations and analysis.

Step 2. A forage quality analysis is required for a more accurate estimate of the amount of nutrients available to meet livestock nutrient requirements. For information related on how to collect a hay sample, please refer to Extension Publication 2539 Hay Testing and Understanding Forage Quality. Send hay samples requiring analysis to the Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory:

Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory
P.O. Box CR
Mississippi State, MS 39762
Phone: (662) 325-3428
Fax: (662) 325-7807
https://www.mscl.msstate.edu/customers#essential-forms (click Forage Analysis Test Request Form & Limitations Form)

Step 3. You will need to get an inventory of the hay that is available: number of round or square bales and average weight per bale. This helps in determining the amount of hay that is available. It will be beneficial to get the weight of at least 5 to 10 bales within the same lot to estimate the average bale weight in pounds.

Step 4. This step defines how long you plan to feed hay and how much hay loss you will have, based on storage and feeding methods.

  • 4.1 Feeding days: How many days you plan to feed hay. This lets you determine if there is a hay surplus or deficiency. Depending on how you store and feed hay, you always have hay losses.
  • 4.2 Storage losses (Table 1): Estimated values based on type of storage and how long the hay is stored under those conditions gives you values to put into the calculation sheet.
  • 4.3 Feeding losses: Animals can cause hay losses. Table 2 shows sample ranges in feeding losses.

Step 5. Select the type(s) of livestock that will be hay-fed on the farm:

  • 5.1. Know the right number of animals that will be fed.
  • 5.2. Know the average weight per animal in pounds to calculate the metabolic weight.
  • 5.3. Calculate daily dry matter intake (lb/day) based on the metabolic weight of the animal and adjust based on the crude protein and neutral detergent of the hay.
  • 5.4. Hay test report: The percent dry matter “as received.“ This will let you calculate what percent of that dry matter is moisture and will be used to adjust daily hay fed.
  • 5.5. Daily hay fed: Amount of hay needed for each livestock and adjusted for nutrient requirement and losses.
  • 5.6. Total hay need: Amount of hay need (in tons) to feed a specific number of animals for a specific time.
  • 5.7. Nutrient requirement: Determines if the hay meets the nutrient requirements of the livestock. If it doesn’t, you will need to supplement. If numbers are in red for crude protein (CP) or total digestible nutrients (TDN), you need to supplement. If numbers are in green, nutrient requirements are met or there is a surplus. Table 3 provides the nutrient requirements for each livestock class that need to be met with hay or feed supplementation.

Step 6. Hay surplus/deficiency: Based on the total hay needed for a specific feeding time frame. If numbers are red, you need to buy hay. If numbers are green, there is sufficient hay or a surplus.

Step 7. Hay cost analysis lets you calculate how much hay you need, if there is a deficiency of hay, and how much the hay costs. You will need to know the average weight of the bales and the price per bale you will buy in case you need extra hay.

Table 1. Hay losses under different storage methods.

 

% Losses (0–9 months)

% Losses 12–18 months

Storage

Method

Range

Average

Range

Average

Outside

Not Covered

       

Ground

5–20

7.5

15–50

17.5

Elevated

3–15

6.0

12–35

11.5

Outside

Covered

       

Ground

5–10

2.5

10–15

7.0

Elevated

2–4

2.0

5–10

5.0

Under roof

 

2–5

1.5

3–10

3.5

Barn

 

0–2

1.0

2–5

2.0

Source: Huhnkle, R.L., 2003.

Table 2. Hay losses based on feeding system.

 

Percent Hay Feeding Losses

Feeder Type

Range

Average

Cone

0–4

2

Cradle

5–15

10

Ground

10–28

9

Ring

0–6

3

Trailer

5–11

6

Trough

8–20

6

Source: Buskirk et al., 2003.

Table 3. Daily nutrient requirements for cattle.

Livestock Type

CP (%)

TDN (%)

Calcium

(% ration)

Phosphorus (% ration)

Vitamin A (IU/lb)

Cattle

Rep. heifers open

9.6

60.0

0.3

0.2

1300.0

Rep. heifers bred

11.0

65.0

0.4

0.2 

1300.0

Lactating 1st calf heifers

12.0

63.0 

0.4

0.2 

1800.0

Dry 1st calf heifers

9.6

60.0 

0.3

0.2 

1300.0

Dry brood cow

6.0

45.0 

0.2

0.1 

1300.0

Stocker steers

13.0

70.0 

0.5

0.2 

1300.0

Stocker heifers

13.0

70.0 

0.5

0.2

1300.0

Breeding bulls

13.0

70.0 

0.5

0.2

1800.0

Beef yearling steers, 700–900 lb, medium frame

13.0

70.0

0.5

0.2

1300.0

Beef yearling steers, 800–1000 lb, large frame

12.0

70.0

0.5

0.2

1300.0

Beef yearling heifers, 600–800 lb, medium frame

13.0

70.0

0.5

0.2

1300.0

Beef yearling heifers, 700–900 lb, large frame

12.0

70.0

0.5

0.2

1300.0

Beef cows, 900–1000 lb, moderate milk

11.0

60.0 

0.3

0.2 

1800.0

Beef cows, 1100–1300 lb, moderate milk

10.7

60.0 

0.3

0.2 

1800.0

Beef cows, 1300–1500 lb, moderate milk

10.3

59.0 

0.3

0.2 

1800.0

Beef cows, 900–1000 lb, high milk

13.0

65.0 

0.4

0.2 

1800.0

Beef cows, 1100–1300 lb, high milk

12.3

63.0 

0.4

0.2 

1800.0

Beef cows, 1300–1500 lb, high milk

11.8

62.0 

0.4

0.2 

1800.0

Beef bulls

12.0

70.0 

0.5

0.2 

1800.0

Dairy cows 1000 lb, 50% forage ration

11.8

62.0 

0.4

0.2 

1300.0

Horses

Horses, mature maintenance

8.5

45.0

0.3

0.2 

910.0

Horses, mares mid-gestation

9.5

50.0

0.4

0.3 

1370.0

Horses, mares late-gestation

11.0

50.0 

0.5

0.4

1370.0

Horses, mares 1st 3 months lactation

14.0

70.0 

0.5

0.4 

1370.0

Horses, mares late-lactation

12.0

60.0 

0.4

0.3 

1370.0

Horses, weanlings 4–6 months

16.0

50.0 

1.0

0.8 

910.0

Horses, weanlings 6–12 months

13.5

50.0 

0.7

0.6 

910.0

Horses, yearlings 12–18 months

12.0

50.0 

0.6

0.4 

910.0

Horses, 18–24 months

11.0

50.0 

0.5

0.4 

910.0

Horses, light work

10.0

62.0 

0.3

0.2 

910.0

Horses, moderate work

10.0

70.0

0.3

0.2 

910.0

Horses, heavy work

10.0

80.0 

0.3

0.2 

910.0

Horses, stallions

11.0

55.0 

0.3

0.2 

910.0

Sheep

Mature sheep

9.5

50.0 

0.3

0.2 

2350.0

Ewes, winter lamb

11.0

65.0 

0.4

0.3 

5000.0

Ewes, May lamb (140% lamp crop)

11.0

65.0 

0.4

0.3 

5000.0

Ewes, May lamb (180% lamp crop)

12.0

66.0 

0.4

0.3 

5000.0

Ewes, lactating (suckling singles)

12.0

66.0 

0.5

0.3 

5100.0

Ewes, lacatating (suckling twins)

13.5

70.0

0.5

0.3

6000.0

Replacement ewe lambs

12.5

60.0 

0.4

0.3 

2000.0

Mature rams

11.0

55.0 

0.4

0.3 

2500.0

Goats

Mature doe with kids

14.0

75.0 

0.5

0.4 

1400.0

Weaned kid to yearling

12.0

60.0 

0.2

0.2 

700.0

Mature buck

11.0

55.0 

0.3

0.2 

700.0

Donkey, 700 lb

6.5

40.0 

0.3

0.2

910.0

Sources: Gimenez, D.M. 1994; NRC, 2000; Kline et al., 2009.

References

Buskirk, D.D., A.J. Zanella, T.M. Harrigan, J.L. Van Lente, L.M. Gnagey, and M.J. Kaercher. 2003. Large round bale feeder design affects hay utilization and beef cow behavior. J. Anim. Sci. 81: 109-115.

Gimenez, D.M. 1994. Nutrient requirements of sheep and goats. Alabama Coop. Ext. Serv. ANR-812.

Huhnke, R.L. 2003. Round bale hay storage. Oklahoma State Coop. Ext. Serv. F-1716.

Kline, R., S. Porr, and J. Cardina. Horse Nutrition. Ohio State Coop. Ext. Serv. Bulletin 762-00. Online: http://ohioline.osu.edu/b762/index.html (Accessed May 15, 2009).

Lalman, D. and C. Richards. 2006. Oklahoma State University Feed Commodity Bulletin: Nutrient composition table. Oklahoma State University. Online: http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/exten/feedbull/nutrient.htm (Accessed August 14, 2009).

National Research Council (NRC). Nutrient requirements for beef cattle. 2000. National Academic Press.

This information is for educational and preliminary planning purposes only. Use this program as a guide only. The hay calculator uses publicly available information as a basis for its calculations; such information may change over time. The user assumes the risk of using or otherwise relying upon any hay calculator output. The hay calculator does not provide supplementation recommendations.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service does not guarantee the functionality of the calculator. MSU Extension does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any calculator output. The calculator, its operation, and any output are provided as is and without any express or implied warranty, including merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. MSU Extension is not bound by any calculator output and is not responsible for use or reliance on such output.


Publication 2590 (POD-11-22)

By Rocky Lemus, PhD, Extension/Research Professor, Plant and Soil Sciences; and Daniel Rivera, PhD, Director of Southwest Research and Extension Center.

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Authors

Portrait of Dr. Rocky Lemus
Extension/Research Professor
Forage Establishment, Grazing Systems and Management, Hay Production, Forage Fertility, Forage Quali

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