Dragging Pastures

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Ken Scharabok, Mar 4, 2004.

  1. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

    May 11, 2002
    I just had about 4,600' of drainage trenches put in. They were backfilled to the top with creek gravel. The dirt was spread sideways. I had the Co-op put seed in with fertilizer. To try to cover the seed I put an old large tractor tire on a chain and drug it around the field. I notice it spread out cow patties pretty well also.

    I have heard two theories on pasture dragging to spread out patties. One is that it helps in that the area immediately under where the patty was deposited recovers to grazable forage faster. Second is that it just makes the whole pasture smell bad to the cattle.

    If anyone does pasture drag on a routine basis to spread cow patties, what has been your experience on the benefits?

    Ken S. in WC TN
  2. I drag my pastures about 3 times a year. The grass does grow tall and thick around cow pies, unfortunately the cows avoid grazing in that immediate area. The whole pasture is never drug at once, I do about 1/3 at a time. The drag is a home built contraption I made from pipe, cable, and chain. It is pulled behind the Polaris ATV and does a good of "buttering" the pasture with cow pats. I think it greatly aids fertility.

  3. Hughes

    Hughes Well-Known Member

    Dec 16, 2003
    We've always drug our horse pastures to break up the potty spots, expose larvae to the sunlight and to redistribute the fertilizing value of the manure. I would think the benefits would work pretty much the same for cow pastures.

    We recently started attaching the drag behind the mower, so when we mow pastures, they get dragged as well.

    We've used Cedar boughs, peices of welded panels with weight on top (rocks & tires), chain, etc., to drag pastures until we could afford the chain-type harrow we wanted that we now use (which works GREAT).

    It does not seem to make the horses turn their noses up at the whole pasture if they are in the one we dragged. I'm not aware if cattle are pickier than horses or not.
  4. Carol K

    Carol K Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    Western NY
    My Dexters must be picky, they won't eat if the pasture has been dragged. This year I dragged it in fall after I took them off it, so I'm hoping with the long winter break that it had, they will eat in the Spring! I also spread out well aged black composted manure on part of the pasture so I'm waiting to see if they go near that!

  5. My neighbor who owns the field on the west side of my property drags his field in early spring. He cuts hay off of it during the summer and in late fall he turns his steers and heiffers into it to graze all winter long. Then he removes them, drags the field, sows seeds every other year, and then cuts hay throughout the summer months. He usually gets 3 cuttings every year.
  6. Mullers Lane Farm

    Mullers Lane Farm Well-Known Member

    Feb 27, 2003
    NW IL
    We drag our pastures as soon as we rotate the livestock off them. By the time they are ready to rotate back on, everything has mellowed out and the cows aren't bothered.
  7. Cows avoid eating too near their own excretement it is nature's (GOD's) way of limiting the parasite infestation.