Friday, July 11, 2008

Tall grass grazing - another look

I've been working with Joel Salatin's Mob stocking model grazing tall grass for more than a month now. It seems to be working. The animals love it. Following are some pictures showing the effects on the grass.

New Paddock - The fence is 48" tall

The paddock they just left.

Nine days after leaving

14 days after leaving

My chicken house is waiting for a rebuild, so the chickens aren't in the pasture rotation right now. If they were the trampled remains of grass and manure would get a good shredding right after the Mob left. That would improve the speed of organic matter breakdown and grass regeneration. I am also a bit under stocked still. A few more cows would have a big impact on the utilization and the breakdown of the grass. Still, it's pretty good.

I find managing tall grass grazing to be more challenging than conventional MIG. I have a harder time estimating how many days of forage I have in a paddock. Fencing is also a bigger challenge for me. If I had a good perimeter fence and was just running cross fences it wouldn't be so bad, but using the temporary poly fence exclusively is a bit tricky in tall grass. Sometimes I can't see over the grass to know where I have to meet up with the other end as I enclose the paddock. I do like the flexibility my system has, and It was about 10 time cheaper than permanent fence.


ourfriendben said...

Your grass looks great, Alan! I've been a Joel Salatin fan for quite a while now. I think adding chickens to your rotation would be fantastic! Mine wish they could join them, but they'll just have to settle for our chicken tractor if they want a break from the grounds of the Pullet Palace.

jack-of-all-thumbs said...

This looks very promising! I expect that we'll become goat people in the near future.



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