Pasture Rotation: Prairie Grass. Do you SEE that grass!? Our pasture management plan is working, and our grass it is really improving. I can’t lie, I had my doubts. We are new to this farm thing. We read as much information as we could, but we couldn’t find very many local people who have improved their pastures as we are trying to. It seems that most people just have one large pen for their animals, and we saw in the beginning (Pasture Rotation: Phase 1) that having 1 pen will wreck your grass and soil. So we had to use the knowledge of farm stories and mentors in different climates to the test, and it is working, even in our harsh desert.
I love our prairie grass, read below to see where we got it from. Our sheep/goats have done three rotations now, meaning that we have cycled them through these pastures three times since April. We put them all in one area for 3-4 days, move them to the next, repeat. After they have finished the last one, we put them in a sacrifice area for about a month to let the grass recover.
Prairie Grass Ready for Eating
Below is a picture of the area last week before we moved the animals in there.
This picture is 6 days later after we moved them off of the area, and mowed it. You can see there is still a lot of dirt. The grass could be twice as thick as it is now. That is great, so much area for improvement!
How Pasture Rotation Has Helped Us
- We have MORE grass. We have fewer bare dirt areas, less weeds, and the grass is getting thicker and more dense with every rotation. With our first rotation we had to move them every 3 days, with our most current one we were able to go 6 days in one area. In that sense, that is double the grass!
- Our milking goat, River, has increased her milk production with every rotation by 50%. She is eating more, and giving us more in return. Win, win.
- The grass is recovering faster. It took less time for our grass to grow tall enough to let the animals onto it, another big win.
I am so happy with how much our area has changed in less than 6 months, and I can’t wait to see how it will improve over the next year. The prairie grass we planted is from Outsidepride.com, it is called Southwest Native Grass Seed Mix. We are very happy with the results, and you can see in our pictures above that it is competing with our weeds well.