Help me with my pasture overhaul please

Turnip

Member
So in short next month I'll be hopefully moving and have a couple of acres that is currently pasture, had sheep on it before. The grass has docks and other weeds in it to start with but more importantly the grass is too rich for my two horses, laminitis waiting to happen. My ideal pasture would have a Barenbrug/Hunters traditional meadow mixed with their herbs.

So the question I have now is how do I go about this, where do I start? Any advice is really appreciated. Although I am light on equipment I am willing to invest in the right kit.
 

robs1

Member
So in short next month I'll be hopefully moving and have a couple of acres that is currently pasture, had sheep on it before. The grass has docks and other weeds in it to start with but more importantly the grass is too rich for my two horses, laminitis waiting to happen. My ideal pasture would have a Barenbrug/Hunters traditional meadow mixed with their herbs.

So the question I have now is how do I go about this, where do I start? Any advice is really appreciated. Although I am light on equipment I am willing to invest in the right kit.
If you want to graze it over winter then reseeding is imvho the last thing you want to do, fence off a small area to control intakes in spring and let the rest get old then strip graze this grass, we do this for liveries that are prone to laminitis, it's the speed of digestion that is the problem stalks mature grass stops that.
 

Turnip

Member
If you want to graze it over winter then reseeding is imvho the last thing you want to do, fence off a small area to control intakes in spring and let the rest get old then strip graze this grass, we do this for liveries that are prone to laminitis, it's the speed of digestion that is the problem stalks mature grass stops that.
Thanks @robs1 . There is enough acreage that I don't need it all over winter so could reseed and have them graze half of it. Then flip it around next year.
 

Dry Rot

Member
Livestock Farmer
Have a word with your local agricultural contractor and get it sprayer for the weeds. If you re-seed, you will inevitably be applying fertiliser and sowing a more nutritious species of grass (I don't believe seed merchants!). Leave it alone and "weed" grasses (i.e. less nutritious) will dominate which is what you want if you have concerns about laminitis. I've kept a herd of a dozen or so Highland ponies for the last 12 years and never had one single case of laminitis (or any other disease come to that). No fertiliser, except on the grass kept for hay. Fence off what you don't need and either graze with livestock or cut for hay...or even leave as foggage.
 

Flatlander

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lorette Manitoba
Two horses on two acres year year round ? I don’t think you’ll be fencing off much after they clear it the first time. Seen so many horse owner have an acre or two and think it’s going to keep them fed for an eternity. Once the horses have chew it down you’ll be lucky feed them both regardless of which fancy name brand of grass mix you buy.
 

Dry Rot

Member
Livestock Farmer
Two horses on two acres year year round ? I don’t think you’ll be fencing off much after they clear it the first time. Seen so many horse owner have an acre or two and think it’s going to keep them fed for an eternity. Once the horses have chew it down you’ll be lucky feed them both regardless of which fancy name brand of grass mix you buy.

My mistake, I had missed that it is only 2 acres! As Flatlander says, two acres is not enough.
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
Unfortunately all land needs rest from grazing as much as it needs the grazing. Possibly the most long-lasting of all fixes, is to address all the problems at the root - rest time

If you Google "Vail Dixon" she has some great resources and videos specifically looking at grazing, in pretty simple terms
 

Turnip

Member
Two horses on two acres year year round ? I don’t think you’ll be fencing off much after they clear it the first time. Seen so many horse owner have an acre or two and think it’s going to keep them fed for an eternity. Once the horses have chew it down you’ll be lucky feed them both regardless of which fancy name brand of grass mix you buy.
Okay you are taking the literal meaning of couple, its roughly 4 acres of pasture at the moment. Our current pasture for them is a bit less than 2 acres and they have been happily grazing that for the past 6 years with parts being rested to restrict grazing and recovery. Never had issues feeding them so maybe I am lucky in that regard.
 
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Unfortunately all land needs rest from grazing as much as it needs the grazing. Possibly the most long-lasting of all fixes, is to address all the problems at the root - rest time

If you Google "Vail Dixon" she has some great resources and videos specifically looking at grazing, in pretty simple terms
Grassmaster course, they said pasture must have 90 days rest in the winter to be able to hit the spring running
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
Grassmaster course, they said pasture must have 90 days rest in the winter to be able to hit the spring running
There's a lot of merit in that. I'd be unwilling to put a number to it, but you can save so much stress grazing rested feed in that spring period.

I still think a good rule of thumb is one harvest/grazing per 10 inches of rainfall, but the chemistry set crew have f**ked that with all their attempts to coax 2 blades of grass where one should be growing
 

Flatlander

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lorette Manitoba
There's a lot of merit in that. I'd be unwilling to put a number to it, but you can save so much stress grazing rested feed in that spring period.

I still think a good rule of thumb is one harvest/grazing per 10 inches of rainfall, but the chemistry set crew have f**ked that with all their attempts to coax 2 blades of grass where one should be growing
I agree with resting a pasture to allow it to recover but I confess I’ve never heard that ten inches of rain deal before. Maybe your area has a lot more rain than some and more land for grazing at a cheap price. Most on here will try and produce as much from every acre as possible as their livelihoods depend on it
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
I agree with resting a pasture to allow it to recover but I confess I’ve never heard that ten inches of rain deal before. Maybe your area has a lot more rain than some and more land for grazing at a cheap price. Most on here will try and produce as much from every acre as possible as their livelihoods depend on it
We're about 33-43 inches avg here depending which side of what hill you're on.

The guys who rotate their sheep 3 times (and set stock for lambing) get on fine every year, and the guys who rotate 11 times sometimes have a good year, but their suppliers always have a good year, because they're always buying loads of inputs
 

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