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Discussion Starter #1
would you run one cow calf pairing in a pasture with 3 goats? Should I rotate pasture even though there aren’t many animals? If this was you how would you rotate the pasture? I’m unsure how to divide the pasture and how often to move the animals
 

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Hi there, can you tell us how large your pasture is?

Yes, I would still rotate using something like flex-fencing.
 

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I’ll start from the other side of things.

many pasture grasses, clovers, alfalfa’s, etc are accustomed to a 30 day rotation. They grow well for 30 days,them progress to setting seed and such, no longer growing much feed value.

so, an ideal rotation is to have 30 pastures, and rotate your critters onto a new pasture everyday, and have enough critters to mow down the pasture paddock in that one day.

yea, right, like that will happen! Ha.

but, this is what you want to accomplish.

you want your grass grazed down nice and even, and then left alone for 25-35 days.

if you have 4 paddocks, so be it,try To use each paddock every month and try to get it resting and regrowing for a month.

you can also do a lot by turning the critters out on a pasture during the evening, and getting them off in the morning, so the pasture can regrow over the day. With 4 paddocks, you can rotate between thrm.

having more paddocks makes all of this more efficient, easier to rotate. But obviously costs more in fencing and takes more planning to allow access to water and the home yard and barn.

so........

if you plan ahead to allow current pasture to be divided into say, 8 paddocks, or 12 paddocks, and onlyget divided into 3 or 4now, it will make future fencing a lot easier if you have an early plan of how to make more paddocks.

many of us just raise a bunch of critters on waste land with a fence around it and let them graze the whole thing. That works too. It just isn’t the most efficient. What happens is the critters eats the tastiest grass. Critters tend to like young tender grass, and so they will keep grazing the same patches over and over. They let the less tasty grass alone, it grows over ripe and goes to seed. Over time, the critters end up decreasing the amount of good tasty type grass, and the pasture is overtaken with the poorer grasses and weeds they don’t want to eat. This makes your pasture less and less efficient, less productive.

Paddocks and rotation allows you to eat down a whole pasture so all the grasses and weeds get trimmed down and used, while other paddocks are regrowing and the good grasses are getting healthy and strong again. As well the manure from grazing gets spread over the whole pasture, to refertilize everything, not just overworked patches in the pasture. This can about double the number of critters a pasture can feed.

Paul
 

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We can't answer the question without information about acreage and location. The weather is critical to the answer.
 

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Cows and goats eat different grasses... The cows will pick around the less desirable thing and weeds to get the good things they like..
Goats will eat the weeds and less desirable grasses and any brush material they can reach..
So to have goats follow cattle on a given paddock should work OK.. Like said with enough paddocks to rotate them around, or big enough paddocks to support them until the last paddock can recover..
This the short answer.. Like said, location, time of year in that location, type of ground, I have to think your location in the UK makes a big difference.
 
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The great buffalo herds used rotational grazing naturally-- as they ate their way from Canada to Texas each year, they were always eating fresh grass and leaving their parasite loaded droppings behind. As they worked their way back north, they again had fresh grass and the parasites were long dead.

Think of mowing your lawn-- you clip off 2 inches, wait a week for the two inches to grow back, then clip it again, etc. However long you leave your herd on a patch of pasture, you need that much time (or more) off it to let it rejuvenate.

As Wyo- said ( Hey, Wyo- Come va, Hose?) goats would make a good companion to cows because they're not as picky as cows and would help to keep the weeds down.

A disadvantage of moving them too soon is that in a short time, they'll only eat the good stuff and then be moved before they get desperate enough to eat the bad stuff (weeds). That's the principle behind "mob grazing."-- Leave 'em in one spot long enough to get them eating the less desirable plants, too.--but then it takes that much longer to grow back...Your method of choice depends on how good your pasture is.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well we don’t have any land yet I’m just trying to make prepare for the future. (Cows will not be our first animal but I like to try get as much info as possible when planning!) I’m currently in the UK with family however my S/O is in America and we plan to buy land over there. It’ll most likely be Virginia where we buy land. People say 1-2 acres per cow but I’m assuming that it’ll be less for a mini jersey rather than full size. When people say 1-2 acre is that the total pasture size or for each paddock?
 

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Well we don’t have any land yet I’m just trying to make prepare for the future. (Cows will not be our first animal but I like to try get as much info as possible when planning!) I’m currently in the UK with family however my S/O is in America and we plan to buy land over there. It’ll most likely be Virginia where we buy land. People say 1-2 acres per cow but I’m assuming that it’ll be less for a mini jersey rather than full size. When people say 1-2 acre is that the total pasture size or for each paddock?
First, a warning-- Maybe you should reconsider Virginia. That's awfully close to Washington DC where there is obviously some disease going around that rots the brain. Maybe it's catching.

The rule of thumb about one ac to a cow is based on grass production in an area with fairly good rainfall (VA should be ok, whereas OK would not be ok.)..Keep in mind that you'll probably have to buy hay to feed them for 7-8 months of the year.

Another point about keeping just one cow /calf...If you're doing it for the milk, that's way too much milk for one couple and not enough to sell. There's also the expense of "servicing" the cow every year or so. ...If you're doing it for the beef, it'll take 2 yrs to get the calf up to weight (more hay for the winters). The savings over just buying the meat from a local processor is minimal and well worth savings in risk, work & aggravation.)...If you're concerned about food security in a SHTF situation, then VA is not the place to be-- way too populated-- but that's a whole 'nuther discussion.
 

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The animal units per acre varies depending on terrain and climate.

In my part of South Texas, halfway up the coastal bend, it is four cows per acre. Here in Central Texas, it is ten acres per cow. My neighbor has 40 acres, 4 cows, and that is overgrazing. In parts of New Mexico, it’s 100 acres per cow.
 

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If I were shooting for a small jersey milk animal I'd probably just keep a little Dexter bull as well. If you get a jersey like was mentioned.. I'd get an area for some pigs or something because even a good size family will have excess milk. I've run goats with huge cantankerous holstein steers. The goats will be fine and they won't compete a ton for forage.

You could AI the jersey too but I'd just keep a little bull.

As others mentioned.. VA would not be my first choice but it has some lovely areas... not great politics due to commuters working in dc I've heard but I never lived there and have little knowledge except from navy buddies that didn't have the best opinion of the state.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
VA is hubby’s first choice due to work. But we can also move to NC, GA, TX (near San Antonio) or stay in MD (near Baltimore) I forget where in the other states I’ll ask him when he eventually gets up
 

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.I was being facetious about avoiding VA.....No place is perfect. Often you chose between hurricanes vs tornadoes, too hot vs too cold, droughts vs floods or risk of earth quakes. Suit yourself.....Maybe the only general advice is to try to locate more than one tank full of gas away from a major metro/large population center.
 
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