But if livestock is more your thing, how do you get started? How do we farm cows?
Head into your store and the construction menu. We'll need somewhere for our cows to be! Look under the Animals tab and you can see that there's a choice of four. Your basic enclosed cattle pasture can hold 15 cows. Meanwhile, a small cow barn will hold 45 and a large barn 80. You can further go for the large cow barn with the feeding robot.
One other advantage of the barns is that they have their own water supply! With the basic pasture, you'll need to bring water regularly. On the other hand, your pasture doesn't require straw for the cows for bedding. Another trade-off is that pasture doesn't produce slurry or manure. If you are using barns, you'll want to purchase or lease the Anderson Pro-chop 150 for providing that straw. You'll also want to choose the manure heap from the silo extensions to capture that useful manure.
Buying your initial cattle
There are essentially two ways to purchase your animals. If you own a Wilson Silverstar animal transport then you can save yourself the transport costs associated with getting the cattle to your farm. Alternatively, you can go to your barn or pasture and to the animal paw symbol and pay the slightly higher cost to have them transported automatically.
You can choose between different ages. At eighteen months, these are mature animals and so they can produce young every ten months at that point. Therefore if you're looking to grow your herd quickly, you'll want to buy the mature animals. Brown-Swiss and Holstein are your better dairy cows, while Angus and Limousin are more specialised for beef.
Feeding and maintaining your cows
Cows need food and water to stay healthy. Again, if you're using the basic pasture rather than a barn, you'll need to ensure there's plenty of water!
If you're storing your hay in bales, you'll need to chop those bales before it can be fed to your cows. Cows eat a diet of hay, grass, or the total mixed ration. Total mixed ration, or TMR, is produced by mixing hay, straw, silage, and mineral feed in your mixer wagon. This is the best to optimise your milk production. If you only provide hay, this has 80% effectiveness. Grass is 40% effective.
Making your Total Mixed Ration
You can just use a silage and hay mix if you want to make your TMR as simply as possible. The key thing is to make sure your ingredient mixture is within the arrows shown in the top left. Once you have a passable TMR it will show the TMR icon in the bottom right and how much of it there is in your mixer wagon. Deposit this in the feeding area of your barn or pasture and you'll feed your animals!
It's a bit easier if you have the barn with the robot feeding, as you can just add the ingredients to the bunker attached to the barn directly. A shutter comes down and the machine does its thing, keeping the cattle perfectly fed as long as you keep the bunkers topped up! It's quite hypnotic to watch the robot at work.
Turning your cattle into cash
It's great nurturing these beasts, but what we need is profit! As long as your herd is healthy, your dairy cows will produce milk and your beef cattle will increase in value.
Milk is fairly straightforward, as your cows start producing this as soon as they're mature. You can process this into other products to increase the profitability, or shift it as is for some quick cash. With your beef cows, you'll want to sell them on to turn them into money.
You can see more detail on farming cows in Farming Simulator 22 here:
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