Watering the flock/mowing pastures

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by MichaelK, Jun 3, 2005.

  1. MichaelK

    MichaelK Active Member

    May 6, 2004
    Upstate NY
    We finally finished all the perimeter fencing. 6000 + feet of 6 strand electric and are now rotationally grazing with electronet paddock dividers. Any suggestions on how to get H20 to the far reaches of the pastures besides hauling it?

    Laying black pvc pipe around the perimeter with fawcets every ?? feet seems to be the only way. Any suggestions?

    Also can someone tell me at what point, (height), do the pastures need to be mowed.
    Mine are getting very high with all the rain we have had and the sheep cannot keep up with them. (The lambs keep disappearing!!). After they are moved to another paddock should the grazed pasture be mowed as well?
  2. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

    Jul 12, 2003
    east ont canada
    me myself would(have )go straight up the middle with water pipe .we just lay it on top of the ground and t off where we want water. been there about twenty years now, just remember to blow the water line out well before winter!

    clip pasture after use and if heavy bale up for bedding as it will smother the grass

  3. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    I mow when I see a lot of flower heads on the grass and the little ones are getting lost in the tall stuff. That's about belly high on the adults.
  4. BetsyK in Mich

    BetsyK in Mich Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 13, 2002
    According to what I learned when starting rotation grazing system you want to keep your pastures between three and eight inches tall for optimal grazing and food value. We've had a ton of rain and my pastures are way out of hand so will be clipping them also, if it every get dry enough. The sheep don't seem to want to eat the taller stuff, but if you keep your paddocks at the smaller size and can stand the complaining from the sheep (at least mine tell me when they want to be moved) the sheep will clean up the less palatable forage. They also told me if I had a paddock that I had not gotten the sheep on to mow and bale for hay. I have a hay field and really didn't want to invest the cost for mowing and baling so will be clipping a bit more this year with all this rain. This rotational grazing looks like it will be a new learning experience yearly, just like having sheep to start with.
  5. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2004
    New Zealand
    I have read this thread with interest and am wondering why none of you have thought to get in some cattle.

    Now don't get me wrong as I'm well aware that I'm living in another country but in NZ almost all farming is done by rotational grazing but cattle are used in conjunction with sheep. The cattle go first and eat down the long grass and are then followed up by sheep.

    There are several of reasons for this. Cattle rip their grass, curling their tongue around it and ripping so require longer grass, sheep nibble and require shorter grass. Cattle eat things sheep won't eat and sheep eat things cattle won't eat with the result that worked together, pasture tends to remain clean or at least controlled. And just as importantly the worms that affect sheep don't affect cattle and vice versa.

    Topping paddocks to the extent that some of you would appear to be doing so is very wasteful and makes for a lot of decaying matter that then locks the paddock up until it has gone.