This week brought more baby lambs and our first goat kids, dairy and pygmy. The count so far is 17 lambs and 3 kids.
Wednesday I spent a few hours putting up fencing for the sheep and goats grazing the pastures. Managing pastures is one of the full time jobs that both Gregg and I have on the farm. Between fencing, moving animals around, document and growing grass. However, managing pastures well can save farmers a great deal in overhead cost and it is not to me taken lightly. It also gives the animals nutrient dense food that they have to forage on their own while keeping them healthier and more productive all around.
During the summer, along with our sheep, goats and chickens, all of the dairy cows have a managed pasture rotation. As organic farmers we are required to allow our cows access to pasture, but more importantly over 30% of their dry matter intake has to come from grazing alone. That usually equates to at least 5 or 6 hours a day outside grazing. Here is what that looks like for us. Every morning we have to go and assess the previous days paddock to see if there is enough feed for another day, at least 7 hrs worth of product. That is done by utilizing a pasture stick. Measuring the height and density of the grass, plugging it into a formula that the USDA has available to help determine how many days and or hours there are available on any given paddock. All of this information is then recorded in a data base and made available for our annual inspections. A full time job, April- November.
Aside from fencing, I finished a few other spring cleaning projects….
– Started a few seedlings: sweet potatoes, ginger, zucchini, herbs and parsnips.
– The bees were given more honey water and seemed to appreciative the offering as they await spring flowers.
– Greens are beginning to sprout in house 1. I actually harvested enough for a small salad; of which I ate all by myself. No dressing needed.
– Lastly, some of my wool was shipped to Ohio with its return to be in the form of our wool socks.
Until next week