A recent Texas AgriLife Research survey of Texas and California dairies found that cows, like people, are big energy users.

That's the bad news. The good news is there's enough potential energy within the manure dairy cows produce to pay their electrical bill and more -- a lot more, according to Dr. Cady Engler, AgriLife Research agricultural engineer.

"Total energy usage ranged from as low as 464 kilowatt hour per year per animal for a pasture dairy in Northeast Texas to as high as 1,637 kilowatt hour for a hybrid facility in Central Texas," Engler said.

"The estimated daily potential energy availability from manure – 25 kilowatt hours per day per cow – is much greater than the average daily on-farm energy requirement of 3.2 kilowatt hours per day per cow," he said.

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