Saturday, October 24, 2009

Making Paddocks, Part 1

Farming in the rain is not fun. Though if you have good rain gear and can connect with your inner child, it's not too bad. It has been raining a lot here lately but today it is sunny and we are going to install semi-permanent fencing in our new pasture to divide it into paddocks to facilitate rotational grazing.

Rotational grazing is used to maximize food production and minimize parasite problems. Basically, you do a multivariable calculation involving the number of goats (or other livestock) you have, the size of the pasture, how long it takes the grass to grow, and the life cycle of parasites to determine the size of the paddocks, how many you need, and how long the animals should remain in each paddock before moving to the next. Ahhh... the simple life; who knew I'd be able to put my math degree to such good use as a farmer!

If we were living in a perfect world, I would calculate all that and have a perfect pasture with perfect animals and a perfect life. But we don't live in a perfect world and the reality is that our herd has grown faster than our pastures. So, we are going to use the less scientific method and wing it. Since we are using semi-permanent fencing for the paddocks, it will be easy to adjust them as we fence in more pasture area.

Tomorrow I’ll post the results with photos.

(Side note: if you are looking for a farm, it is a REALLY, REALLY good idea to purchase one with good fencing or expect to spend a ton of money installing it.)

2 comments:

  1. I'm with ya, sister! We're donning knee boots over here on the west side of the state. We're mud farmers, now. Seems we have a knack for growing it...especially with all this rain! ;o)

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  2. Yeah... I wonder how much we could get for a pound of good ole Tennessee mud?

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