Winter pasture

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Rob30, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. Rob30

    Rob30 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am interested in planting a winter pasture. Not for the only feed source, but to suppliment and decrease the amount of hay needed. I am raising goats and calves, but may have sheep and pigs by next winter. Any ideas? I will be using about 5-10 acres. I know some people use corn, but I am hoping to find a grass/legume combo. I am sure the deer and moose would eat all of the corn.
    I am in central Ontario, zone 3.
     
  2. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Hi Rob30,

    I'm in zone 3 (4a most years) in Northwestern Ontario. I don't raise livestock as of yet, but the pasture here before was with some cattle. It has mixed red and white clover with some grasses obvsiously and some parts reseed with birdsfoot trefoil. There has been some good discussion lately on frost seeding and refurbishing pasture growth. Soil preparation and liming seem to be a starting point before considering that much about reseeding.
     

  3. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    The only thing I know of that will grow for winter forage is brassicus. I don't think you will find grass that can be viable for winter pasture, though fescue does well quite a ways into the fall/early winter.

    Jena
     
  4. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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  5. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Rob30, I find stockpiling cool season forage (fescue here) in the fields/pasture prior to winter a big advantage. Even here in zone 7 growing anything during the winter amounts to very little forage. On the the stockpiled forages the cattle find it very palatable and prefer the dead appearing fescue over common hay. During the few times we have snow or ice ground cover, the cattle learn to push the cover aside and eat the grass. The cattle will pass up hay in order to get to the snow covered grass. I typically have 90 days that there is little or no visible growth and it is during this time that I depend on the stockpiled forage. Thus far this winter I have not fed the first bale of hay. I only make enough hay to cover misjudgement in the amount of stockpiled grass or weather related problems. Another plus is not having to daily feed hay and not having the expense associated with hay making in quantity. I feed no grain and the feeder calves I market bring premium prices. This switch to the above method of feeding along with rotational grazing has done more for making my operation profitable than anything I have tried. Hope it would work for you! :)
     
  6. Rob30

    Rob30 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Where abouts in North Western Ontario?
    I am just east of North Bay.