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Cattle For Those Who Like To Have A Cow.


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  #21  
Old 01/07/09, 01:44 PM
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That was what I was thinking. Thanks for clarifying.

Just checking, but did you see my post before the stockpiling question?
Thanks
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  #22  
Old 01/07/09, 01:59 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Missouri
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I think that Salatin, Greg Judy, etc. would say that it would be very advantageous for you to eventually get all the cattle in one big herd. This will cut down on labor, only moving one herd per day. But it also seems to have a better effect on the pasture and the herd to have a larger number of cattle, creating a mob grazing situation. Salatin says that to mob graze like he is now you really need 200 head. I'm going to do the best I can with 16 this year, and last year I did the best I could with 8, but the larger the number the better it seems to work. Salatin, and Greg Judy both talk about how their "mobs" behavior changed when they got into the swing of things, recognizing that they better eat while there is something to eat, and that they can depend on the farmer to give them a new paddock everyday. They stay very calm.

My pastures were newly planted last spring so I stopped grazing in late Oct. this year but, boy, I can't wait to get them back out there this spring!!! Moving the cows after my day job is the best part of my day (except of course being with my wife and baby).
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  #23  
Old 01/07/09, 02:09 PM
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I haven't heard of Judy, wstevenl--I'll have to check into him. Thanks for the info.
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  #24  
Old 01/07/09, 02:21 PM
 
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He's really good. He does mostly "custom grazing" of other people's cattle and he's now raising hair sheep too. He's got a couple of books. I forgot to tell you, Salatin's "Salad Bar Beef" is good but he's changed some of his methods since it was written. He's now taking more and more of his herd through the winter with no hay, and is letting the grass mature more before they graze it instead of trying to keep everything in the "lush-tasty" stage.

Since you're in Georgia, you may want to check out www.naturesharmonyfarm.com They are starting their second year of pasture based farming and have around 40 head rotating their pastures, plus sheep, poultry, etc.
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  #25  
Old 01/07/09, 03:24 PM
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I've read some of Nature's Harmony's blog. We might have to try and visit them sometime since they're not but about 1 1/2 hours from here.

We're also interested in the multi-species system they're using, but of course improving the pastures is the first priority.
Thanks!
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  #26  
Old 01/07/09, 07:01 PM
 
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godsgapeach
Yes I did read your other post and I responded to the thistle and persimmons. I did not reply to the rest of the post as I thought that I may be clouding the rotational grazing conversion discussion. Not only do we need to combine the herd, we need to reallocate the use of the acreage across the road. The 22 acres herd needs to definitely be absorbed elsewhere and that land put to alternate use provided it is suitable. How difficult is it to access the 45 acres side of the road if you wanted to move cattle from one side to another? I have no idea if the tracts are separated by a country lane or an interstate. I am confident that I can net more profit from the large tract with the large herd than you are now realizing with the 3 herds. We can cull and get the "right size" cows. We can get the pastures in top condition and carry more cows than you are carrying in the largest herd. We can eliminate the dependency on hay and avoid the expenses associated with the hay. You can have the acreage on the 45 and 22 acres for alternate use or seasonally fatten cattle from outside your herd there during times of heavy growth. You, your brother and dad must learn the process, want it to work and believe it will work. I am here to help with any issues. You will have to accept my inputs on face value. I apply everything I am proposing. Like a cow chain, I have been dragged through all the carp. I know it will work.
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  #27  
Old 01/07/09, 09:39 PM
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Thankfully the road is small, but we'd probably be better off moving the 22 acre herd in the trailer otherwise we'd be trying to flush them out of somebody else's forest property.

Right now we're checking with a friend of my brother's who is some type of soil specialist to find out how to best get the soil checked.

Thanks again for all the input.
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  #28  
Old 01/07/09, 10:19 PM
 
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Are you indirectly saying that the 45 acre herd can be walked across the road? We need to start putting a plan together and to set some goals. Let me know when you are ready to move forward. Some of the tasks can be done simultaneously. I can provide pics of any of the procedures associated with rotational grazing within my herd should you need to "see" anything.
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Last edited by agmantoo; 01/07/09 at 10:24 PM.
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  #29  
Old 01/07/09, 10:24 PM
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Sorry--yes, the 2nd largest herd can walk straight across. The others are more challenging.

I'm hoping my brother can get registered here and put his 2 cents worth in so you'll know what we're both thinking. He had some trouble last night for some reason and hasn't gotten on yet...

He just let me know that his soil specialist friend is also able to map the paddocks with her GPS.
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  #30  
Old 01/07/09, 10:31 PM
 
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I would not expect you to have to cross onto the 45 acres more than 4 times in a year. Utilizing the 45 acres will let you keep the herd headcount and possibly increase it if desired. Until your brother can post he is able to read our conversations isn't he?
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  #31  
Old 01/12/09, 05:41 PM
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Got the soil tests dropped by the Extension office today. Now it's just hurry up and wait.

How many acres per paddock do you suggest? How many head per paddock?

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  #32  
Old 01/12/09, 06:53 PM
 
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The process doesn't work exactly like that. We want the most efficient method for both man and beast. For the beast we need a layout where the cattle do not have to go more than 800 feet for water if possible. For man or woman we want a layout that is conducive to equipment efficiency, practical in terms of time utilization and that will protect the farm from erosion and will be nearly self sustainable. The entire process needs to be so simple that the first visitor that sees the operation will say to himself "why didn't I think of that?". I will post more later.
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  #33  
Old 01/12/09, 10:03 PM
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Alright, I was FINALLY allowed to register here. Agman, many thanks for your advice-we really do appreciate it.

Would you suggest our next move to be mapping our pastures in order to lay out paddocks? Water access could be somewhat of a challenge. We re-fenced the perimeter of our property and limited creek access to one or two points per pasture in an effort to minimize fecal matter in the water.
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  #34  
Old 01/12/09, 10:13 PM
 
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welcome aboard! Am I correct in assuming that you are godsgapeach's brother?
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  #35  
Old 01/12/09, 10:18 PM
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That I am. Hate that it tooked me so long to post but it seems the forum took issue with one my email addresses. They finally accepted the one I thought them least likely to take. Better late than never I guess.
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  #36  
Old 01/12/09, 10:35 PM
 
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Laying out the paddocks from a remote location is most difficult. For now, the best thing may be to get an aerial pic and make a lot of copies. We know that the cattle must be watered. Initially, continuing to use the creek is probably the best bet until you get some first hand experience doing the rotational grazing. The only way that I know to do this is to have some designated lanes. All internal paddock partitions and lanes will be nothing more than a single strand of high tensile wire on minimal posts. The wire along the lanes will also carry the fence charger power for distribution throughout the farm. The polywire will pick up its power from the lane wire and the nearby paddock wire. As stated previously, the most ideal paddocks IMO are those that are rectangular. These lanes I mentioned will give the cattle access to the paddocks. No gates will be used! The single strand of high tensile wire will simply be lifted and the cattle will walk under it. The long rectangles will be reduced to smaller paddocks for grazing by the use of polywire and temporary press in place by foot posts. The lanes will also be used for you to travel over the farm to check on the cattle and to move them to new grazing along with equipment for attending to the paddocks. This will avoid compacting the soil thus encouraging quality plant growth. The lanes will be grassed also and can be grazed. I do not think that I have conveyed the process adequately. I have pictures of much of my operation. If you have any questions feel free to ask and I will attempt to restate the setup in my responses.
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  #37  
Old 01/12/09, 10:40 PM
 
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Thanks guys for posting this instead of PM I'm learning alot just listening in!!
lrd3 and Lupine like this.
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  #38  
Old 01/12/09, 10:54 PM
 
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jtsummie, if I fail to make a clear statement in passing along info please ask for clarification and feel free to ask for additional inputs. I do not type very fast and this small window makes proof reading difficult. I edit my messages after posting as information is often lost if one strays.
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  #39  
Old 01/13/09, 09:51 AM
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I'm trying to visualize what you're saying, Agmantoo. Do you mean you have permanent rectangular paddocks that you divide into smaller grazing areas with portable step-in pigtails?

I'm still not sure how we're going to incorporate the creek. It's farther than 800 feet from anywhere except the bottomland. There's a pond in the 45 acres across the road and we might be able to rig a pump system... or from a well. We're going to have to put our heads together on that--I think that's a bigger challenge than mapping out the paddocks (for me anyway).

I'm reading Bill Murphy's Greener Pastures... Voisin Management Intensive Grazing right now and he addresses some of that issue, but we've got to figure out what will work best for our animals and us.

I saw a plan that had water at the center and the small grazing areas fanned off away from it (http://www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/abeng/plans/nd870-3-8.pdf). Just trying to check any possible options...

Thanks as always for your help!
Godsgapeach
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  #40  
Old 01/13/09, 01:56 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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As a general idea, consider using long strips that can easily be divided with polywire and the step in / pigtail posts. We have done this with two long strips and we use 3 polywires on reels to make a front and back wire and the third is used to make another front fence to move them into. This way the back wire is reeled in and moved to the front each day.
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