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

Discussion in 'Holistic Farming' started by Kiwi Pete, Apr 21, 2018.

  1. ha - ive done about an hours work on the farm in the last week & that was only because of my pet bullock, needed to do some fencing & move him . . .
    I did water some trees we'd planted out there, to keep them alive

    the other day I spent about half an hour getting a water pump running for a neighbour, then spent about 4 hours letting her talk & cry & vent about drought & stress & guilt & family & her mother recently dying & . . .

    err, that was about my weeks work really
     
  2. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    Mown docks always increase intakes in my experience.
    The physical properties and condensed tannins mean there is much less gassiness in the gut - they can be an integral part of bloat management as a result.

    A few docks is as handy as none. :)
     
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  3. Agrispeed

    Agrispeed Member

    Location:
    Cornwall
    Good source of iodine and mining minerals from deep down too (y)

    cows tend to take the leaves off but don't go mad for the stems unless mown. There isn't much left where they've been. Its more the ryegrass stalks, they're too 'springy' to be easily trampled, and I don't want the grass heading at 4" tall again :confused:

    Interestingly, this field is mainly ryegrass/WC and the cows are hammering the brambles and roughage on the tracks - lack of fibre in modern ryegrass?
     
  4. Blaithin

    Blaithin Member

    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Some drugs - like ivomec - seem to prevent scavenging if given soon before death. You also don’t want to compost anything that’s been euthanized with drugs.

    It should also be considered that bones are an important source for wildlife. It’s encouraged here to not pick up bones and antlers as many animals chew on them for nutrient sources. And rodents will use them to help keep their teeth manageable. Porcupines love a good antler shed. Just because the compost doesn’t break them all the way down, doesn’t mean they aren’t being useful.
     
  5. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    I did some work - 20180711_211434.jpg drank a few beers and pressed some wool for my mate during a "counselling session."
    He's shearing all his own sheep this year -only 800 left to go now. (y)
    Yep. (y)
    I have seen a chart somewhere of the fibre requirements of cattle through lactation and to be honest - the way ryegrasses are usually "managed" over the growing season is about as far removed from what cattle need, as possible!
    Cattle want more sugar in early lactation, and as their fibre requirements increase, in general terms the supply rapidly decreases, due to topping and silage/hay.

    (Aftermath is lamb food, cattle need a lot of fibre.)
    IIRC by late late lactation it's around 45% of total intake? Don't quote me it may be 35%.
    But it's much more than lush ryegrass and clover can provide, anyway. Not just fibre but minerals, minerals that lots of diverse root systems help put into the animal.
    Clover and ryegrass feed at the surface, certainly not always very deep, and ryegrass is not really production food, being low in protein compared to most forbs.

    This is another reason I want to give up topping, to prevent laminitis, especially later on in the year when the rains come.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  6. Inky

    Inky Member

    Location:
    Essex / G.London
    Very true, it's learnt behaviour. I use a virtual fencing system that is not GPS based (cable buried underground that emits a radio signal). The cattle are trained for around 7 days so they learn how the system works and we can weed out any not suitable (attached images show a cow with a collar and a graze line where the cable is buried). I'm looking forward to the Argensens collar coming to the market although i'm not sure how well it will perform under dense tree canopy.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. DanM

    DanM Member

    Location:
    Wiltshire
    Several comments on how sheep would help improve people’s grass management; arguments against being “too much work”, “don’t like em”, “poor fences” etc. Would it not be great opportunity to offer a young guy a share farming deal - you get sheep to help with grassland management and some income. They get chance to farm and/or grow business.
     
  8. Treg

    Treg Member

    Location:
    Cornwall
    There's a Jersey on the far right that's as wide as she is tall, think she's having plenty:)
     
  9. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    I like this concept a lot. It's win-win, for a start, to be honest for all the benefits my sheep provide it wouldn't worry me if they actually barely broke even - they save a lot of pasture maintenance and animal health costs for a little bit of grass when it's surplus.
     
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  10. Henarar

    Henarar Member

    Location:
    ZumerZet Somerset
    don't you find they just seed out on the ground unless cut earlier than this
     
  11. Yesterday our sole tame rep dropped by, one of @Kevtherev 's colleagues, to drop this off and look round our pasture

    image.jpg

    Some interesting mixes in there (y)

    image.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  12. Kevtherev

    Kevtherev Member

    Location:
    Welshpool Powys
    Visit from Tim
     
  13. awkward

    awkward Member

    Location:
    kerry ireland
    on local commonage that I bound it's interesting to see different herds working their way around .each herd has it's own patch and rarely mix unless something is bulling. my herd wouldn't normally have access but when they have broke in .they have rarely mixed
     
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  14. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    They just keep to their own herds?
     
  15. awkward

    awkward Member

    Location:
    kerry ireland
    they do each herd has it's own routine and even when crossi g paths they move on to where ever separately. occasionally the herd bullies have a go at each other but nothing major
     
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  16. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    I like that drought resistant one @Kevtherev - looks spot on for here at those rates (y)

    How strong is your propellor feeling?
    Nice day for a fly
     
  17. Kevtherev

    Kevtherev Member

    Location:
    Welshpool Powys
    @Cab-over Pete has it at the moment crop dusting (y)
     
  18. Chocks away Flight Lieutenant, last one back is a rotten egg.
     
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  19. Agrispeed

    Agrispeed Member

    Location:
    Cornwall
    This is something I am quite interested in, once I've got my business stable. Sheep might be a start, and something I haven't really thought about, but I'm quite keen to get a beef/arable/silage rotation if I can find some land to rent, I'm hoping I can find someone young and keen to share farm it with. I was luckily enough that someone decided to let me have a go so I'm quite keen to do the same for someone else in a couple of years.

    I think its very important to give someone ownership - I quite often have foreign students stay for several months at a time and I always try to give them a specific job they can make theirs, like rearing calves and to be fair they do a very good job and are very contentious, despite normally not coming from a farming background (not a bad thing to have someone asking WHY you do it that way). Several are now farming in other countries, but come back on holiday which is quite handy!

    You're right and It can be an issue, but I've been hanging onto this for when I ran short of grass, although there isn't much seed in these yet. Cows will take the flower heads off if kept tight enough which although they still look messy tends to kill them off quite well if done frequently.
     
  20. humans are pigs

     
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