Pasture Rotation: Mow It. Yesterday, we were able to start our second attempt at pasture rotation. I posted 2 months ago that we moved our goats and sheep to a new, lush area to try out our plans in Pasture Rotation: Phase 1. We had them in that spot for 1 week. It was great supplementing them with fresh grass instead of feeding them all hay. We also found a few things we need to change in our pasture management plan.
Flaws In The First Rotation
- The sheep only ate what they liked. The area had a couple weeds that they didn’t like. They wouldn’t eat it. This isn’t good, it means that those weeds are given an opportunity to take over, and then we would have a pasture full of weeds they don’t like to eat.
- We let some areas get too overgrown. The mosquitoes loved it. This also gives the bad weeds a chance to go to seed and take over the pasture.
- After we took them off of the first area, we tried to let them go into the next pen. Fencing was down and this let them go into a huge area. They waltzed around only eating what they wanted, and then begging for hay. This obviously didn’t work.
Keys to Pasture Management
When it’s time to move the sheep off of the pasture, we need to mow it. This will help eradicate the plants that the animals don’t like. On this same note, if for some reason we can’t let the sheep into an area yet, we will mow it.
For this rotation we were able to get a few fences put up so we have more than 3 pens to rotate though. We hope this means the sheep will eat everything instead of picking out only the plants they like. We took care of this pasture a little bit better too. We mowed it before the weeds went to seed, so plant variety is more diverse than our last pasture. We really proved that mowing is the solution to the issues I listed above, and is essential to improving our pastures.