Pasture Management

freemotion

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Maybe a dozen tarp-fuls or so. I need to know that I can feed my critters if I must. Gives me comfort. It was a very bad year, being so wet, but I put up enough hay to probably keep two goats going, along with all the pumpkins I got this year. That is enough to give me peace of mind.

I had to really struggle with the last loads, to get them on top of the pile, which I tromped down each time.

My grandfather put his hay up loose, enough for four cows and a couple of work horses. But they used a wagon and a kind of winch to get it into the loft, after pitching it onto the wagon by hand. Not just one scrawny woman working alone with no equipment but a scythe, a hay rake, a hay fork, and a tarp!
 

bibliophile birds

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right now, with our pastures in the state they are, we are feeding 8 round bales a day. and that's not counting however many square bales they are going through in the barn. no one in the family was going to address the problem either. they just kept buying hay once our 2 barnfulls ran out each winter. the constant overgrazing means we have to start feeding hay early each year and then feed it longer. it's complete insanity.

my dad is a smart enough farmer to know that what they were doing wasn't working, but he was to the point where he felt like it wasn't his battle to fight anymore (he was always in charge of the cattle operation that has gone from hundreds down to 20) so he didn't do anything. he also never actually learned about the life cycle of grass, so when i started talking to him about optimal growth he thought i was insane.

my aunt and uncle, who have basically run the farm the past few years (to the land's detriment), are completely CLUELESS about correct grazing and the life of grasses. maybe if the grass cost $30,000 and jumped over fences... it's amazing that people don't stop to actually consider that the health of the soil and grass is directly connected to the health of their business.
 

Wolf-Kim

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For those who overseed every year, do you just broadcast the seed or to you use a seed drill or other piece of equipment?

Just my two horses is enough, I couldn't imagine having 50 or so.
 

valmom

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freemotion said:
Maybe a dozen tarp-fuls or so. I need to know that I can feed my critters if I must. Gives me comfort. It was a very bad year, being so wet, but I put up enough hay to probably keep two goats going, along with all the pumpkins I got this year. That is enough to give me peace of mind.

I had to really struggle with the last loads, to get them on top of the pile, which I tromped down each time.

My grandfather put his hay up loose, enough for four cows and a couple of work horses. But they used a wagon and a kind of winch to get it into the loft, after pitching it onto the wagon by hand. Not just one scrawny woman working alone with no equipment but a scythe, a hay rake, a hay fork, and a tarp!
OK, that's dedication to an ideal! Although, I would love to find one of those big old hay hook grabbers to hang from my loft- just for decoration, of course :cool:

Up here, and with the small amount of land that we have, we feed round bales all year round for our beasts. 8 rounds a DAY?? Wow. I thought 10 a month was a lot.

I also sweep my hay loft and spread the sweepings and dropped seeds in the pasture. I put some squares in the loft in case I feel the need to lock the horses in from the weather, or until I can get the tractor out to get another round bale in the paddock.
 

bibliophile birds

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Wolf-Kim said:
Just my two horses is enough, I couldn't imagine having 50 or so.
if it were truly up to me we'd be down to about 10. the problem is that this is a family farm, so, even thought it's my father and i who actually farm here, we have to accommodate the interests of 18 other people as well. that means that all my cousins had to have their own horses and my aunt and uncle HAD to have this equestrian school.

and now (and worst of all) my little cousin bought a 4 wheeler... which he rides continuously every weekend (and any afternoons he can get a ride out here). he rides in the fields and in the woods, destroying all the trails in the process. he rides first thing in the morning and until very late at night. and, joy of all joys, he ripped the muffler off so you can hear the damn thing across the whole valley. it makes me want to KILL him.
 

FarmerChick

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problem with pasture management is most people don't have enough land..LOL
 

miss_thenorth

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FarmerChick said:
problem with pasture management is most people don't have enough land..LOL
LOL, aint it the truth!! Hubs and I are talking about renting more from the farmer next door--then I can get my dexter!

But there are ways to make small parcels workable. The key wrod is work though. My sil has 10 acres 2 horses, a llama and a goat. They do all the work, I wish it was that easy here.
 

Iceblink

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Here is a picture of my rotational grazing setup. :) It consists of a 5' x 12' x 6' chain link dog kennel, an axel, two wheels, two lambs, and by the end of the summer, strong arms.



I put the sheep in the pen, and pulled it to a different area 3 times a day. I added organic untreated pasture seeds to their creep feed, and in theory, they re-seeded my small pasture. All in all, my set-up worked really well. My sheep were secure, even when they were tiny, they couldn't eat enough to get bloat, but they got enough to gain weight at a regular rate, and I didn't have to spend an arm and a leg in fencing.

Plus, once I built their large winter pen, I could run my fall chickens in the kennel.
 

Beekissed

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Great idea, Ice! Like a sheeple tractor....and is that a Dorper I see in there? Very nice looking sheep!
 
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