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Feeding your cows in FS 2015

Getting Started

Feeding your cows in FS 2015 -2013 is an expensive startup.

A basic startup will cost you about $600k, but once you have that, you’re off to the races. You’ll need balers, harvesters, planters, forklifts, and feilds, all of which will be reveiwed in section 2. Having cows is a good way of getting hourly profit; the milk truck comes twice per day and takes your milk and pays you. It also opens up the possibility of greenhouses, which require solid manure to grow. However, cows is an expensive and time consuming process. I recommend setting a chunk of time aside where you don’t have to worry about your crops so that you can get your cows happy without worry.


Tools and Expenses
Raising cows is an expensive startup. Below you’ll find your cheapest setup that I can think of. You’ll need the following: (Note, prices are estimates.)

  • A tractor designated just for you cows. ($65,000)
  • A Frontloader with Bale Fork and silage hauler: ($28,000)
  • Kotte Slurry Tanker (Highly Recommended): ($13,000)
  • Pottinger Servo 35: ($20,000)
  • Horsche Joker 6m: ($22,000)
  • Krone Emsland: ($5,000)
  • Pottinger Mex 6: ($49,000)
  • Arcusin Autostack (Recommended, but not vital): ($95,000)
  • Amazone EXD 6000: ($58,000)
  • Kuhn GA 8521: (Could get cheaper model, this is WAY better): ($28,000)
  • Pottinger Eurohit 590 N: ($16,000)
  • Krone Big Pack 1290 Square Baler ($120,000)
  • Kuhn Profile 1880: ($40,000)
  • Kuhn PZ 280 F: ($8,000)
  • Kuhn PZ 960: ($28,000)
  • Amazone Profihopper: ($3,500)

TOTAL PRICE: $600,000!

That’s a LOT of money! This is the part where one begins to consider “When will cows pay back their startup cost?” This depends on how devoted you are. If you’re constantly working on them, then you can have a lot of cows and they’ll pay back quickly. Some farmers begin to be just dairy farmers, or just animal farmers. The choice is yours.


Hay and Straw
In order to properly feed your cows, you need a mixture of silage, hay, and straw. For hay and straw, that’s where your expensive balers come into play. What’s the difference between hay and straw? Hay comes from dried grass, and straw comes from when you harvest barley or wheat. You will need both to feed your cows, but you’ll need more hay than straw, which is inconvenient because you make straw in normal grain production, but you have to go out of your way to get hay.

Getting the Straw and Hay:

Straw: Straw is easy. While harvesting wheat or barley, just follow around your harvester. That stuff that it spits out the back is straw. Just follow the rows until your baler starts spitting out nice square bales. Load them onto any bale trailer and make a pile near your cow pasture.

Hay: Hay is the harder part. If playing the Hagenstedt map, I recommend buying feild 35, considering it’s only $22,000 and very close to where you’re going to be working. I also recommend splitting the feild in half. You’re going to need to grow corn and grass to feed your cows, and you’re not going to want to drive a long way. Borrow your seeder that you use for grain to plant grass on half the feild. However, be careful, it’s really hard to get feild back once you’ve seeded grass. Now that the grass is planted, wait until it’s fully grown. You can tell this because it will blend in with the rest of the grass on the edges of the feild on the growth map (Press Escape and scroll until you find the map. Growths are color-coded). Once it’s fully grown, attach the 2 Kuhn PZ mower to the front and back of your tractor (Single in the front, double in the back). Unfold, lower, and turn on both of them and get mowing! It will leave behind a green sheet of grass. Once the entire feild is mown, take off the mowers (Don’t bump in to the tall one! It’ll fall down and it’ll be a b*tch to get back up with your frontloader) and hitch up your tedder. Lower and turn it on, and drive over all the green sheet until it’s all brown. Patterns don’t really matter in any of these steps, just get it done. Next, take your windrower and make rows with it. I recommend making a spiral. The neater you are now, the easier it will be later. After all the rows or a spiral is made, grab your baler and suck that hay up! Don’t sweat it if you miss some: you’ll get it next harvest. The first harvest might not produce bales; it might just fill up the buffer in the baler. Half of feild 35 in Hagenstedt will produce about 3 bales. That’s it! Grab the bales by stabbing the side of them with a bale fork or picking them up with the Autostacker. Notice that Hay and Straw are different colors. Make 2 seperate piles. You’ll use these later in the section “Mixing Feed”


Silage
Silage is an ingredient in the feed that you will feed your cows. Silage is fermented corn. You’ll need some special tools listed in “Tools and Expenses”, such as the Amazone Planter and the Pottinger Mex 6 to chop your corn. As with any other crop, you must plow and cultivate the field (As stated in “Hay and Straw”, I recommend using half of Hagenstedt feild 35 for corn) before planing your corn. After a little while, liquid manure will build up in the large blue tank. Drive your slurry tanker near the spout of that tank, and fill up. Drive the tanker over your feilds to spread the manure and double the yeild of your corn. Once it is fully grown, hook up your tractor the the Pottinger Mex 6. Back up the tractor and Mex 6 to your tipper and attach that to the back. You should now have a “train” of equipment. (Yes, I know it’s hard to get this set up, but it works. Just give it a couple shots.) Unfold the harvester (Press ‘G’ until you have these options), put the pipe out, lower the harvester and start harvesting! The pipe will automatically align itself to the trailer (Sweet!) and it will pipe chopped corn into the trailer. Half of Hagenstedt feild 35 will yeild a couple of trailerfuls of chopped corn. Drive the full trailers to the silage silo. In Hagenstedt, it is 2 concrete walls with dirt in the middle. (It’s the larger of the 2.) Unload the trailer there. Next, drive over the chopped corn a bit to compress it. You should see the compression percentage in the top left hand corner of your screen. Once it’s at 100%, keep harvesting. Once the silo is 10% full, you will be given the option to put a blanket on the silage. (Note: Silage must be at 100% compression to put a blanket on it). Once the blanket is put on, you won’t be able to dump any more chopped corn in the silo until you use up ALL the silage, so plan wisely. Once the blanket is on, the corn will start fermenting. This will take a couple days. Once it’s done, you’ll have a nice, brown pile of silage in the silo ready to feed to your cows! Yum!


Bedding
While your silage is fermenting, what can you do in the meantime? There’s always plenty to do, and bedding is the next thing. To increase productivity, take your Kuhn Profile 1880 and drive it up next to the feeding trough, which is the trough under the shed/canopied area. Using the front loader and a whole lot of luck, take one of your STRAW bales (Beige Bales) and load it into the mixer. Drive up to the shed so that the shed is on your right. Press Q to unload the bale. Sit back and watch that straw fly into the shed! Congratulations, your cows now have bedding. This will increase their productivity. To check productivity, open your PDA and scroll to the ‘Statistics’ screen with ‘I’, then press ‘9’ until it shows statistics that have to do with cows.


Grass and a Mower
This is the easiest part of feeding your cows. Take your Amazone Profihopper and mow some grass. Just find any grass, like the edges of a feild or a hill. Fill up the grass tank and drive it to the trough that is not covered. Unload the grass into the trough. This will increase the cow’s productivity by about 10%. It’s not amazing, but it’s not hard either.


Mixing Food
So, you have Hay, Straw, and Silage. Congratulations, you’re almost there! Attach your Kuhn Profile 1880 to the back of a tractor. Using your front loader, put 2 HAY bales (2 of the green bales) and 1 straw bale (1 of the beige bales) into the top of the mixer. Next, use the silage fork attachment for the front loader to load up some silage. In some front loaders, you need to right-click and drag to open and close the jaws, but in the Weidermann this is not necissary. Dump silage slowly into the mixer, pausing occasionally to get into the tractor which the mixer is attached to. The silage bar should stay between the 2 marks to give your cows the best productivity. If the silage bar is between the marks and you put 1 straw and 2 hay, all 3 of the bars should be within range. This cow feed is ready to be eaten! Drive the mixer up to the same spot you drove the bale shredder to, (drive up to the shed so that the trough is on the right), and press ‘Q’ to unload. Congratulations, you just fed your cows. If all the steps were followed and all the troughs have food or beding in them, your cows should be at 100% productivity!


Manure
So, your cows are at full productivity! They’re producing a lot of milk that is being collected twice a day to give you a nice steady profit. But that’s not all. You can buy greenhouses to place around your farm, but these require manure. You can also use liquid manure in the slurry tanker that you purchased earlier. There are 2 kinds of manure, solid and liquid.

Solid manure will look like chunks of digusting grass in one of your silos (The smaller silo, in Hagenstedt’s case). Greenhouses take solid manure for fertilizer, so you’ll need to load up the greenhouse’s silo trough using your forklift (Manure claw sold seperately). Attach the manure fork to your forklift, open the claws, and drive into your silo. You should pick up the manure. Then, drive it over to your greenhouse and dump it in (this step can be a pain).
Keep in mind, you’ll also need a water tanker to keep your greenhouses supplied with water. You can fill up with water at any of the taps around the world.

Itching for more corn? Grab your slurry tanker and drive it up to your liquid manure tank (large cylinder). You can then fill it up with manure and use it like a fertilizer spreader. Yes, this effect DOES STACK with chemical fertilizer, but this is free and close to your corn.


Conclusion
This has been a lot of work Feeding your cows in FS 2015 . If you enjoyed this a lot, you might want to consider abandoning part of your grain or root production to spend more time with your cows. If you buy a lot of cows (50+), the food will run out quickly. However, they will producee a massive amount of milk and, thus, money. The milk truck will come twice a day. Keep the road clear so that the truck can access your milk tank, which is the blue mechanism. When it comes, watch the money roll in!

Guide by urlmichael

1 comment

  1. L A Hanselpacker

    Thanks. A lot of useful info for anybody wishing to go the dairy route in FS 2013.

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