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Discussion in 'Holistic Farming' started by Kiwi Pete, Apr 21, 2018.
yes more surface area and a dam to catch, pity the soil surface structure is fudged for awhile though
Foreword.....never used a subsoiler or spiky thing here.
We can and do keep sheep out all year round here cant do that with cattle beyond November ish with cattle else theres an extensive brown mess by January
never get any infiltration problems here either on grazing ground, on the vulnerable sloping fields ...especially leave longer covers through the summer.. that long stemmy stuff wont get eaten off or trampled by sheep until very late winter when their have nothing else which is when the new growth starts and helps moisture preserve anyway....
errr, is this is this trampled enough?
Needs more stock in there, they Missed a few thistles.
I had this by a water trough after the rain we have had. Doesn’t look pretty just need to protect that area a bit
I bet it looks worse than it is. By tomorrow most of the mud will have washed back in and it won't look too bad. In a few weeks you will never know.
Perfect You can't really go much further than that without damage.
Now, some people would have a 15 acre paddock like that with 80 calves running up and down waiting for food.
That's usually much more damaging to "the whole" than the corner of a break muddied up a bit, and the stock off it straight away.
I suppose it also gives the worms, bacteria and fungi quicker access to the trampled grass with it already being in the soil as such, and not having to be dragged downwards as such.
Be grand to fast forwards 60 days and see what it looks like compared to the rest of the field.
Just a thought though from a beginner !
I guess it could be a little anaerobic with the mud though, so some drying weather would be good but not so to bake it on top?
Shame it's dark here, I have varying stages of animal impact right through to badly pugged strips, which would largely answer your question.
Under that ^^^^^ the decomposers will have a banquet, because the soil (teeming with life) will have been smeared onto the plants, it's almost like a 'chemical peel' of the grass tiller's more senescent tissue.
Next time they hit that cell, I'd simply move them through it in half the time, and it will thrive
(So it can be almost like topping, but from the bottom up instead of cutting everything off at the same height)
I know people say "compaction" compared to a wheel, a hoof is nothing.
Huddled in a corner, is nothing compared to stock roaming up and down a fenceline.
welp - moved the soggy ones off the floodplain this morning... just in time too - it hadnt burst banks but the groundwater was on the rise..plenty of wet feet for the lambs and ewes.
always find it interesting that sheep don't drink in this sort of weather. ... very resourceful with water they must be.
I've been busy fencing!! What did you do when you first started this plan with a farm full of grass that wasn't high enough to graze under this system but needing somewhere to put your stock? I suppose one could sell all one's stock and start again later! I have some paddocks that have more grass than normal but they are overgrazed. Did you put yours in a small area and feed hay?
I've decided at the moment to do two day paddocks for the sheep so the water stays easy to do. Then I can always tighten them up later. Plus if I can't change the paddock for any reason I don't get stressed!!
We've all got to start somewhere. make a rough plan on a bit of paper and move your stock around each day or two, hopefully ending back at paddock 1 in 40ish days time. As it is mid season you may have to cheat on some parts with a mower and take some bales for winter because you are sure to get some of your grass racing ahead of you.
As has been said, the smaller the paddocks the better
will try and remember to post some pictures after a rest period.
Ironically Pete, that is a 15 acre field with just 100 R1s on it
@baaa - you will have some overgrazing when you start - just try where possible to eek out more time before coming back to the paddock your in - youll eventually build up to a solid rest period -
what i would begin to think about is your winter planning now - that way youll know what you need to have left come sept/oct or where you need them to be..
not sure how this one will recover ... ^^
below is getting them through a field they grazed 7 days ago...
from a few days ago - we had to dose everything as the ewes showed up with lungworm from a set of bloods we had taken .. so finally got to the bottom of why theyve been falling over so much.
That is a wet field, sorry to hear about the lungworm, I've heard of donkeys having that.
Can I ask how high your wires are and your paddock size to numbers ratio?
When I consider sheep compared to cattle, am i right in saying we can't increase density with sheep like you can cattle just because 7 sheep and 14 lambs take up more space than a cow and a calf. I've put 90 ewes and 120 lambs in 1.25 acres and after a day they are unhappy and wanting to move. Poor things! I've ordered more 1m earth rods although I can never get them in that far, the energiser is 3.5 joules output but the fence is only 70m long. Would putting sand or calcified seaweed help with palatability?
I have horses too so they eat the longer grass if necessary, I don't make hay, its easier to buy it here. Here's a photo of the sheep in their new paddock yesterday and of the grass
wire heights are approx 12 inches/30cm up from floor (3 or 4th holder on most posts) and then 9" or about15cm up from that.
(top one is ewe eye level, bottom is lamb eye level/ewe lower grazing height)
ill caveat this with the fact that ive worked down to this... i was on 3 wires when they were smaller lambs AND the ewes are used to the wire heights.. which has taken a year..