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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pasture Preparation

I'v been busy getting one of our pastures ready for our intensive rotational grazing setup. This pasture is about 12 acres and is divided in to a grid of mown lines running east and west, and north and south across the whole pasture. Each square in the grid is 82 x 82 feet. I keep the lines mowed throughout the grazing months and the sheep and goats do the rest! Well not really, someone has to move the portable electric netting once every day sometimes twice this is primarily me. Our farm gets a lot of attention from passerby's on the road because of this. sometimes we'll meet somebody for the first time and when telling them where we live they'll say "oh are you at the place where the sheep and goats are in a different spot when ever we go past?" This goes to show that not many are doing intensive rotational grazing in our area. This is very sad to me it is not good for the health of the Pasture and the animals to stay in one place fore over 24 hours at a time. I if you look at a wild herd of ruminant animals their always on the move to new feeding places also in a well balanced ecosystem there are predators so they stay close together for protection. We can mimic this wonderful aspect created by God by using portable electric fencing. The fence is like a predator and keeps the herd bunched up and moving every day. Doing it this way improves the health of pasture and the herd.
This is the rotational grazing setup. The sheep&goats eat the grass and then the egg laying chickens follow then the grass is left to re grow.
sometimes we put young cattle in the fence too. We use to run the cows with the sheep and goats, but onetime one of the cows stepped on a sheep and broke it's leg so not any more
This is a wild resident of the pasture, it is a Upland Plover chick.

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Anonymous said...

Very informative... I am so glad we are doing things this way at our farm. I don't think I have ever seen a Upland Plover chick... what a blessing in our grassland!

Addie said...

Cute pictures! Is that Nathanael riding the goat? And that Upland Plover Chick is absolutely adorable! Thanks for sharing!



Jonathan said...

That was a very good post. My brother and I just setup that very same fence on the rental property across the road. He's planning on bringing some sheep to start the mowing tomorrow.

Is that your brother riding the goat?

In Christ,

Jonathan Potter

David said...

Yes that is my brother riding on the goat. The picture was taken 2 or 3 years ago so now he is to heavy to do this anymore.