Enter the total available forage and the pounds eaten per month into the calculator to determine the stocking rate.

Stocking Rate Formula

The following formula is used to calculate a stocking rate of a given section of land.

SR = AF / LB/M

  • Where SR is the stocking rate (animals per month per acre)
  • AF is the available forage (lbs per acre)
  • LB/M is the lbs eaten per month per animal

The amount of forage that an animal eats per month is often expressed in terms of a ratio of their total weight. Some come values can be seen in the table below.

AnimalAnimal Unit Equivalent
Cow, 1000lb, dry0.92
Cow, 1000lb, w/ calf1.00
Bull, muture1.35
cattle, 1 year old.60
cattle, 2 years old.80
horse, mature1.25
Sheep, mature.20
Lamb, 1 year old.15
Goat, mature.15
Bison, mature1.00
Sheep, Bighorn, Mature.20
Deer, mature.15-.20

An example or using this animal equivalent unit is if you have a 1,000 lb cow, you multiply 1000 by the AUE to get the estimated lbs eaten per month per.

1000*.92 = 920 lbs per month.

Example Problem

How to calculate stocking rate?

First, determine the total available forage. For this problem, the total lbs of available forage is 300,000 lbs per acre.

Next, determine the number of lbs eaten per month per animal. In this case, we will use the 920 lbs per month above.

Finally, use the formula to calculate the stocking rate.

SR = AF / LB/M

= 300,000/920

=326 animals per acre per month

stocking rate calculator