Saturday, August 21, 2010

intensive grazing

I do my best at this thing called grass farming, but frankly, I'm quite the novice. My husband, Bob, is a wealth of knowledge and my main advisor. He has an animal science degree from NDSU, been a dairyman for many years, and now uses intensive grazing methods on the organic farm where he works raising grass-fed beef. I have books and magazines, but I like just asking Bob the most. :)

Today I made some shepherding decisions. The sheep have been in paddock #1 for about a month, and its looking pretty chewed down. On the other hand, paddocks 2 and 3 are looking lush with grass and some weeds. This morning saw Elizabeth, Karl and I out with various tools working on the fence line east of the barn. Sheep are quite good at escaping through a less-than-secure fence, and we have several places not very secure.
Karl cut a hog panel, drove two steel posts in and attached the panel to finish off the far east end gap between a gate and the outer fence. (we have a great 6-string barbed fence around the perimeter of the pasture/paddocks.)

Meanwhile, Elizabeth was adding a wire fence (specific kind unknown to me and Bob's not here) to another area, and I drilled some boards to support fence around the waterer that the hogs had torn down last spring.
It was hot but the mosquitos are horrible so we are in long-sleeved shirts and jeans. . .and hoods, too, in Karl's case.

This is a roll of wire fence we found out in the trees. It has come in very handy. The farm had old, wooden fence for horses when we bought the place. It had served well but has now fallen apart and time to replace with something stronger and good for sheep. One day paddocks 2 and 3 will get seperated with a functional fence, too.

The first picture at the top of the blog is the sheep in paddock 1 as I'm circling around them to switch pastures. They got all excited and ran through the gate. About 20 to 30 feet into the new paddock they abruptly stopped and dropped their heads. Aaah. New pasture; life is good.

1 comment:

  1. What a great find in the roll of fencing!

    I didn't know that Bob had a degree in animal science.