The pay off to pasture improvement!

So when we bought our little farm, 3 acres had just been seeded the year before into hay for cows, it was cut and baled for three years, and then without extra’s being added it began a reduced amount of reward and the ” local weeds and grass’s” were starting to get a foothold in the pastures themselves.

We tackled these issues in different ways, including but not limited to, hand cutting of things we didn’t want in the pastures, Frost seeding of the pastures in the spring with a tailor made sheep pasture seed mixture, using the sheep/goats to not just graze the feilds but also to keep them in certain area’s till it was taken right down in the fall, then seeding out again after light rakings done. We also added hand done applications of barn compost to improve the pastures, we have also used the pig to dig certain spots up and then level/rake off and reseed to pasture, we have run the chickens/ducks at certain points to apply their manure to area’s.. each year we do a few more little somethings..

And the pasture has area’s that still need a good amount of work done to them but this year we saw our best pay out yet in the lambs and in the crazy amount of milk being produced by my milkers.

The lambs having been raised by mom and having been grass finished, came in this year on average ten pds heavier then when we started with them.. that means that our pasture improvements showing in the amount of meat we are getting back, and lowering feed costs because I didn’t need to grain finish to get that extra weight, nor did I need extra time to do so.. That’s just money  in the bank, or should that be meat in the freezer! Awesome..

Just as awesome is the improvement and increase in the amount of milk my girls are giving me, this year I got a 15% percent increase in my milk production, and I believe its directly related to the milking girls having their own improved pasture to graze on during the day, my milking girls do get milking rations, some bought, some homegrown as well as all the fresh pasture they can stuff in their faces..

I have pulled the sheep flock out of one pasture and have it locked off and am letting it grow, as I want to use it as my “flushing” pasture in sept/oct for breeding season, that combined with what I have grown in the critter garden should ideally give me a nice strong crop of twins come spring!

So are you working on improving your pasture? What methods are you using? What is the postive results you have gotten, what are the negatives you have seen and how did you fix them? Do you flush your flock in the fall? and if so, what do you use to increase their calorie intake to do so?

This is a Homestead Barn Hop Post  Want to read more about different homesteading thoughts and ideas, click on the above link and check out the many different homesteads linked there, its hosted by four lovely gals each monday!

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1 Response to The pay off to pasture improvement!

  1. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Hi FarmGal, You know, there are so many times that I think back to the way things used to be done and despair that this priceless knowledge is being lost: so many of our old farms are being bought up by huge grain producers who have no knowledge or care for the land on which they drive their behemoth machinery; compacting the soil, polluting the water, soil and air; draining wetlands, pulling out hedgerow/buffer zones and destroying the complex ecosystems which make everything work together for us, the “top” of the food chain; ignorant of the old ways where all things work in sync – with the natural way of things, not against it – a balanced cycle of perfect harmony (well, as close to perfect as life can ever get; )

    It’s reading blogs like yours and posts like this one; filled with your straight-up, logical wisdom from the days of real, mixed (family) farming; that give me hope for the future. Thanks for passing it on. xo D.

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