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Friday, February 15, 2008

Moooving Cows

Ready to move

Well about a 6 days ago, I made the executive decision to move the cows onto the paddocks with rye grass and clover. I say executive decision because I felt like I had two little people on my shoulders. One saying, "Go ahead and move them, its ok." And the other saying, "You said 8 weeks off and its been just over 6, you should wait." Well I said lets move them and see what happens. I don't know if it is the best thing, but we will see in a bit. I do know they enjoy the new green grass bunches more than the good quality hay. Their poop is like liquid fertilizer now which is good for breaking down into the soil.

I move the cows by making alleys using electric poly wire on reels. This system has worked great for me thus far as long as you don't run the cows. If a cow wants out of a fence due to stress, it doesn't matter if it is hot or barbed, they will go through it. Just keep it narrow enough that they are comfortable but not too big that they get unfocused and get side tracked. This is where a lead cow really is beneficial. Mine helps me a lot.

Here the cows are making the 90 degree turn to go to the new paddocks. The brown cow in the front is my lead cow. We call him #1 because that is what his ear tag is. I know, genius.

The cows in their new first paddock. This rotation will consist of 23 paddocks, with the cows being moved each day. It is amazing how much they eat in just one day but it is good to know that once they move, they will not return for almost 30 days. Right now, I have a total of 31 pads but I won't rotate on 8 of them till spring.

This is the center run of my 15 paddocks. This is 3 strand 12 gauge high tensile wire. All my paddocks are divided with step in posts and poly wire on reels. As you can see, you can move your chemilizer easy as well. If you don't have one, you need to get you one.

Still eating

Tonight when collecting eggs, we got a new record amount, 29 eggs. I use to remember thinking I can't wait to get a full dozen each night. Good thing is that I have had lots of people to buy them so I don't end up with a fridge full. Thanks for all of you who support the feed bill for these chicks.


Thomas Supercinski said...

You may already be aware of this, but I read that Joel Salatin rotates his cows through the shoot as part of the full rotation (not sure if he does it every rotation or not). When slaughter/sell/relocation needs to take place, the cows go through the shoot with no fireworks since it is pretty normal to them by then. The other end of the shoot just happens to be a trailer. What do you think?

Kramer said...

Ours will have to go through the shoot twice during a full rotation. I think that is a great idea because they do not respond well to new things if just thrown into them. I have to build a loading area with a squeeze shoot at the end for weighing purposes and sorting purposes. My biggest problem right now would not be getting them to the trailer, it would be not taking all of them together. They are so use to moving together that I would have a hard time getting 5 out of the group to sell.

Twinville said...

We don't have cows, but we do eat beef. I am very impressed with your pasture management and your focus on keeping the herd healthy.

I'm also impressed with that huge basket full of gorgeous eggs!
Our 13 chickens, about 18 weeks old now, gave us one egg...the first, over the weekend. It was so EGGciting!

We can't wait until they start laying more reliably and more often.