Small Grazing Paddocks -New for 2012

Well, It has taken more years then I want to say for us to go from when we bought this farm, with no fences other then a number of dog runs from the attached kennel building to have fenced off the Big Barn Pasture, the Corner Pasture, the Small Pasture, the Big Pasture, the Baby Pasture, and the Main Garden, we only have three more area’s to fence, and then we can work on cross fencing off the Big Pasture and then the Small Pasture into lots or maybe just maybe at that point, we will do with solar electic for some of the cross fencing.

Needless to say, we still have about an acre and half still unfenced or around 65 340 Sq feet, let me tell you, when you fence by hand, it takes alot longer then anyone thinks. However thanks to friends of ours we have been graced with borrowed built fencing panels for a number of years.

 Which will allow us to make a 400 sqaure foot instant paddock at a time. So I am going to try my hand at using this to be moved across the remaining unfenced area thoughtout the spring/summer/fall in the methods talked about in one of my books on pasture management, not only will this mean that I will be able to move my flock around but, it also means that I will be able to rest my big pasture for however many days it will take me to  finish a full round of the mini paddocks, which would be a very good thing indeed.

Updates will follow, will that space be enough for my flock for a day or will I have to move it twice daily? It means that there should be around 163 mini paddocks and so I can do two fully eaten mini paddocks a day and still get 80 days worth of grazing on them and ideally I want to give the Big Pasture at least a sixty day rest, before starting it on the same mini paddock eating, they say that I can double my pasture yeild, and increase my pasture qaulity on the same amount of land if I graze them this way.. so let find out if they are right!

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5 Responses to Small Grazing Paddocks -New for 2012

  1. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Hey FG, happy day! I’m guessing that a lot of the timing on this will be determined by weather conditions like rainfall, etc? Ah, you’ve just gotta love farming, eh? Who needs casinos?

  2. grammomsblog says:

    WOW you’re a busy girl! Sounds great!

  3. Ugh….fence building. My back hurts just thinking about it! Good luck.

  4. Kodi says:

    We’re trying to wrangle out fencing details, too. I have no experience grazing smaller ruminants, don’t know how many sheep “equal” a cow, but: usual grazing allowances on good pasture, with adequate moisture and sun, are about 80 cow days per acre, lazy or no rotation. Joel Salatin claims 400 cow days per acre in Virginia. From what I gather from videos and reading, that is rotating once daily, stocking rate of 100 cows on 1/2 to one acre. That gives the pasture at least 30 days’ rest after only one day of “disturbance”, which is very rejuvenating. Each piece of land only gets grazed a few days per year. And chickens go over it in between, to help break parasite cycles and spread cow patties. For comparison purposes, we have a friend in Alberta who grazes yearlings at a rate of 130 head on seven acre paddocks, but he moves them every twelve hours. And he has 160 acres to play with. We’re drier and cooler here than in Virginia. Or Ontario. That’s way too intense for me! But you can’t argue with his results. There’s some numbers to play with, hope it helps.

  5. Kodi says:

    Check out gallagher’s smart fence. I love it. Four strands of electric fence, adjustable shape and size, easily portable, grab a solar fencer and you are in business! Should keep sheep in, I think. I hope so, cause I think that’s what we’ll be relying on for our 4-H sheep. Less hassle than electric mesh. Just make sure it’s always energized, because the plastic construction tends to be fragile, vs a cow. Experience talking here. But one unit can give you up to 6,800 square feet.

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