"Improving Our Lot" - Planned Holistic Grazing, for starters..

Humble Village Farmer

Member
BASE UK Member
Was getting ready to muck the yard out yesterday after 6 weeks of cattle outside. Decided this morning to put the hurdles back up and bring them in while i try and work out how to stop them getting out.

Grass I think is sour and they are cold and unhappy. It's making me unhappy but got a couple of damaged silage bales which never got used. One's got a bad eye (not the royal one)

Not enough swearwords to describe the situation.
Update on our cattle behaviour, in case anyone's interested

After keeping them in for a week at the end of May, which was pretty wet and cold anyway, we turned them into a paddock with electric and a hedge round and just one internal electric fence.


After a week or so in there, we started mobbing them up again, but in more secure hedged and fenced fields.

They are now back in the big arable herbal ley field which was where it all started to go wrong. We took an unplanned cut of silage off there instead of grazing, but it's now got 17 weeks' regrowth.

I sent them round the opposite direction to avoid the spot where they got spooked to start with. So far, fingers crossed and I'm enjoying letting them through of a morning, which is different to how I was feeling last time we were up there.

There's enough grass on there till the end of the month and a few days nearer the yard, so we'll save on straw and mucking out at this rate.
 

Fenwick

Member
Location
Bretagne France
Update on our cattle behaviour, in case anyone's interested

After keeping them in for a week at the end of May, which was pretty wet and cold anyway, we turned them into a paddock with electric and a hedge round and just one internal electric fence.


After a week or so in there, we started mobbing them up again, but in more secure hedged and fenced fields.

They are now back in the big arable herbal ley field which was where it all started to go wrong. We took an unplanned cut of silage off there instead of grazing, but it's now got 17 weeks' regrowth.

I sent them round the opposite direction to avoid the spot where they got spooked to start with. So far, fingers crossed and I'm enjoying letting them through of a morning, which is different to how I was feeling last time we were up there.

There's enough grass on there till the end of the month and a few days nearer the yard, so we'll save on straw and mucking out at this rate.

Have they gotten used to being moved? Have they calmed down a lot?
 

Humble Village Farmer

Member
BASE UK Member
Have they gotten used to being moved? Have they calmed down a lot?
Yes to both questions. They were quite used to moving early on and that wasn't when they started getting out.

I'm just a bit worried that they will become nervous again when they get to the part of the field where it all started to go wrong, but they are much calmer now or less skittish.
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
been on the laptop browsing through various sites, looking to see what plants are out there, to increase protien for both fodder, and N replacement, lot's of maybe's, but light on actual results, as in the clamp.
Also been trying to find books by Frank Newman Tucker, on building soil fertility, with no success, which is a pity, as they were written before the great N revolution, when building fertility was a must, and extremely little fert available, there is no one about, that can recall farming, with little/or no fert, reliance was based on rotation, shite and legumes, and using mixes, with animal health in mind, ie worming properties of some herbs.
The zealots are calling for a ban, on all chemical 'tools', currently in use, but they have no real idea, of the actual results of doing that, quite a few would back track very quickly, if they would listen to reality. That decreasing use of chemical fixes, will return us to the soil state, when those people were building systems, in management, that would keep the soil fertility/condition correct, and that is where we need to look, to find some answers, we are lucky to still have chemical fixes, at the moment, but we are heading towards soil fertility/structure depletion, at an alarming pace, no good closing the stable door, if the horse has already bolted. And that is probably why, there are no hard and fast answers, the experience of those 'pioneers' has been quietly forgotten, because of the revolution, called N, which did away with the need to build the soil, and it all has to be re-discovered.
It's quite a sobering thought, that we are now the pioneers, looking to redress the issue, but it is something that is quite self fulfilling, traveling the road.
I do not think organic farming, is the answer, lot's of good ideas there, but to much reliance on diesel, to be the solution, all grazing farms, slightly different. To achieve the result, all parts of ag, need to work together, to find the solutions, the present organic 'weed' control, is ploughing and stale seed beds, ploughing and cultivating, release soil stored carbon, back into the atmosphere.
 

Guleesh

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Isle of Skye
Will you stick your seed potatoes under the wool and let them grow there. I can’t see the wool disintegrating any time soon.
I'm no expert but my wife has studied this a bit and tells me wool leaches suint, that contains all sorts of good stuff, and from what we've seen it does seem to do some good. The wool will disintegrate quite a bit if the soil under is healthy, but we'll probably scrape the remainder of it to the side in spring, then just go to standard planting tubers in rows and earthing up. We did that this year with great results. Also I think when the wool is dragged to the edge, it creates a really good slug barrier too, they don't seem to cross it.

We'll maybe try a row leaving the wool down and growing under it, but I'm not sure it will supress weeds enough, and it will make it more difficult to remove them.
 

Crofter64

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Quebec, Canada
been on the laptop browsing through various sites, looking to see what plants are out there, to increase protien for both fodder, and N replacement, lot's of maybe's, but light on actual results, as in the clamp.
Also been trying to find books by Frank Newman Tucker, on building soil fertility, with no success, which is a pity, as they were written before the great N revolution, when building fertility was a must, and extremely little fert available, there is no one about, that can recall farming, with little/or no fert, reliance was based on rotation, shite and legumes, and using mixes, with animal health in mind, ie worming properties of some herbs.
The zealots are calling for a ban, on all chemical 'tools', currently in use, but they have no real idea, of the actual results of doing that, quite a few would back track very quickly, if they would listen to reality. That decreasing use of chemical fixes, will return us to the soil state, when those people were building systems, in management, that would keep the soil fertility/condition correct, and that is where we need to look, to find some answers, we are lucky to still have chemical fixes, at the moment, but we are heading towards soil fertility/structure depletion, at an alarming pace, no good closing the stable door, if the horse has already bolted. And that is probably why, there are no hard and fast answers, the experience of those 'pioneers' has been quietly forgotten, because of the revolution, called N, which did away with the need to build the soil, and it all has to be re-discovered.
It's quite a sobering thought, that we are now the pioneers, looking to redress the issue, but it is something that is quite self fulfilling, traveling the road.
I do not think organic farming, is the answer, lot's of good ideas there, but to much reliance on diesel, to be the solution, all grazing farms, slightly different. To achieve the result, all parts of ag, need to work together, to find the solutions, the present organic 'weed' control, is ploughing and stale seed beds, ploughing and cultivating, release soil stored carbon, back into the atmosphere.
@som farmer , you’llhave better success if you look for Newman Turner.
Here is alink for a free copy of Fertility farming:
Fertility pastures:
 

Crofter64

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Quebec, Canada
I'm no expert but my wife has studied this a bit and tells me wool leaches suint, that contains all sorts of good stuff, and from what we've seen it does seem to do some good. The wool will disintegrate quite a bit if the soil under is healthy, but we'll probably scrape the remainder of it to the side in spring, then just go to standard planting tubers in rows and earthing up. We did that this year with great results. Also I think when the wool is dragged to the edge, it creates a really good slug barrier too, they don't seem to cross it.

We'll maybe try a row leaving the wool down and growing under it, but I'm not sure it will supress weeds enough, and it will make it more difficult to remove them.
It will be interesting to watch your efforts with this. I put all my bags of wool at the curb today. I got sick of looking at them and not doing anything with them- anything that needed doing or fixing for more than 2 years got chucked today. I hope I don‘t regret it. ( The hoarder’s great worry).
 

Crofter64

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Quebec, Canada
A great year for autumn colours
60E57C22-4FE8-40BD-AB05-AC16B9FC3B1B.jpeg
38D0C252-F01C-496D-9F8F-E187E36AEAC0.jpeg
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
We've got a little bit of wool, which I think we'll use as a thin mulch around trees. You can kill trees with wool if (it's too thick) in our damp warmish climate and dags are no good

luckily we had just enough sheep to leave a good bin full of crutchings

Have had a fairly high attrition rate with the seedlings we grew, as expected, but hopefully we have some good hardy trees as a result. We planted about 600 kowhai seeds and maybe end up with a dozen trees? They're good like that
 

holwellcourtfarm

Member
NFFN Member
We've got a little bit of wool, which I think we'll use as a thin mulch around trees. You can kill trees with wool if (it's too thick) in our damp warmish climate and dags are no good

luckily we had just enough sheep to leave a good bin full of crutchings

Have had a fairly high attrition rate with the seedlings we grew, as expected, but hopefully we have some good hardy trees as a result. We planted about 600 kowhai seeds and maybe end up with a dozen trees? They're good like that
That's how nature works though, isn't it?
A good Job nature doesn't pay seedsmen for the seed..... 😉😂
 
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Guleesh

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Isle of Skye
We've got a little bit of wool, which I think we'll use as a thin mulch around trees. You can kill trees with wool if (it's too thick) in our damp warmish climate and dags are no good

luckily we had just enough sheep to leave a good bin full of crutchings

Have had a fairly high attrition rate with the seedlings we grew, as expected, but hopefully we have some good hardy trees as a result. We planted about 600 kowhai seeds and maybe end up with a dozen trees? They're good like that
Also read somewhere that rodents nesting in the wool can be a problem if it's laid too thick round a trunk, they ring bark the tree under the wool layer.

Sheep and trees... somebody once told me that it's the breathing of the sheep that kills trees, seems about right.
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
@som farmer , you’llhave better success if you look for Newman Turner.
Here is alink for a free copy of Fertility farming:
Fertility pastures:
you were right, ordered, didn't like the price, but hope it's worth it.
another newman writes books about health, newnan turner on soil etc, the other obviously likes trying to cure back pain, very nearly ordered 1 of them, l have arthritis and scar tissue in my spine, and allegedly nothing more can be done, but you never know ...............................
 

Jonny B88

Member
Location
ballykelly. NI
Anyway... never mind about brexit. Since we're heading a bit off topic, look at our little Kune Kune X s that mostly graze and don't really dig.....:oops:View attachment 992252
They were very well trained to the electric fence, and wouldn't leave their enclosure when it came time to move them, so we enlisted the retired collie, but he just stood staring at them so we had to just drag them out squealing.View attachment 992253
A quick level with a rake then we laid some precious wool for mulch, this will hopefully protect the soil and give time for the grass roots to rot before planting this bit with potatoes in spring.View attachment 992255
It turns out these pigs dig as much as any other, maybe too much X and not enough kune kune? so for now we've given them another little area to destroy, but I'm seriously considering just putting them in a shed until early spring. The thought of all the ground they'll dig up and all that soil sitting bare through winter is just too much, and we haven't got enough mulch to cover it all, I'll be happy to let them out in the spring and let them do their thing, as we can keep moving them and sow something directly behind them, having minimum bare soil
Keep us posted on this please, very interested in this!!
 

Humble Village Farmer

Member
BASE UK Member
Also read somewhere that rodents nesting in the wool can be a problem if it's laid too thick round a trunk, they ring bark the tree under the wool layer.

Sheep and trees... somebody once told me that it's the breathing of the sheep that kills trees, seems about right.
You only have to look at the sheepy areas of the world to see that the two don't go together.
 

CHAP Webinar - Innovative tools to overcome the challenges of Regen Ag

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Applying principles of regen ag can incur a range of on-farm challenges. Learn how innovative tools & machinery can help with these hurdles.

This event will be held online from 1pm to 2pm on Thursday 2nd December 2021 so please block it out in your diary.

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