I've been running a pasturage experiment for the last two years. One area of my place is a 20 acre grazing/hay pasture. It had been neglected badly, so the improved grass (Coastal Bermuda) had shrunk greatly in density. At the current prices of fertilizer, and due to a prolonged drought, I just couldn't justify some of the maintenance costs. Fuel, time, and fertilizer would have brought too small a return on the capital investment. So I went to the BLM auction and bought 4 jennies (minimum bid of $125 each). I tried to pick younger jennies that appeared to be in foal. Two of them reinforced my judgement, we quickly added another jenny and a jack. The jack is just getting old enough to do his job of providing more donkeys. Donkeys are becoming better recognized as cheaper cost and maintenance alternatives to livestock guard dogs. Invading canines such as coyotes, stray dogs, and feral dogs get 'rolled up' by the donkeys in pretty short order. So eventually I'll cull the herd and sell a few. I also added a half dozen haired sheep to this pasturage. Haired sheep do not have to be sheared, they shed their wool in the spring. They also have the reputation as being better tasting than domestic wool production sheep. Essentially, the haired sheep are wild animals, and never get very tame, even when you bottle feed them. Next year, when the flock is large enough, we will 'fix' some of the new rams and grow them for the meat market. But, the point of my experiment was to monitor the effect these animals have upon pasturage. The sheep will eat weeds before they touch the grass. The donkeys are the same, to a lessor degree. The donkeys love thistle! The sheep kill the lambs quarter weeds by over grazing them. Without the use of herbicides, these animals have reduced the over all population of weeds by fifty percent. Concurrently, I've reduced tractor time in fighting the weeds to just 10% of past years. In this part of the country, with light grazing, I don't have to buy hay for these animals. I sowed several acres of rye, and along with the 'standing hay', both species get through the winter in fine form. Neither seems to have much problem with parasites or hay, though we wormed everyone prior to turning them out to pasture. My next step is to determine how many cattle I can run on the 20 acres without over grazing. I suspect they won't winter as well, so I may have to just cycle them through seasonally. Anyone have any feedback on such pasturage management with multiple species? Also, are there other 'exotics' that might provide a better profit level and fairly low maintenance?