Grazing animals need to be kept in a small area. All of them need to be together. You need to make sure that the grazing area does not get overcrowded. The small area you choose needs to be moved around quite frequently. The timing of the move will depend on the grazing plan that you choose to follow. The area needs to be fenced so that all of your animals stay inside a predefined area.
Also, it is important on your part to provide all of your animals with shelter. The shelter can be developed using a small area within the grazing area itself. Just make sure that animal shelters aren’t overcrowded and untidy. Also, if the weather gets colder, you should have warm coats for all of your animals. You can buy new ones at cheaper prices during an equestrian clearance warehouse sale. Here, you will find a lot of accessories for your equine friend at reasonable prices.
Now, let us come back to rotational grazing. Here are some of its advantages
- It leads to a significant increase in the amount of forage production (per acre) without any kind of additional inputs. There are farm owners who end up doubling their forage production in just 2-3 years because they adopt rotational grazing. An increase of 200-300% in the rate of forage production can be expected (depending on the intensity of management and climate).
- It also leads to a significant reduction in the growth of diseases and parasites as animals live away from their feces. When they return to a particular area, their feces are decomposed. Consequently, all of the parasites in the feces are also gone.
- It also results in better animal nutrition as animals get to feed upon different types and kinds of plants. Also, rotational grazing provides plants with ample time to reach maximum nutritional content before animals can consume them.
- Rotational grazing also reduces the need for supplemental feed during winter. (If you don’t have more than 2 feet of snow or thick sheets of ice). You can stockpile tall grass and use it for grazing purposes during winter. Furthermore, it also reduces the requirement of supplemental feed if the season is dry.
- You do not need to change the bedding or move the manure because it will start decomposing where it fell and will rejuvenate the soil in and around the area.
- It also helps the plants to rejuvenate and recover after they have been eaten.
- It also ends up enhancing the overall health of the soil. Animals will eat around 50% plants growing in and around the area. The rest will be trampled to the ground. These plants will protect the soil before decomposing. When these plants decompose, they will give rise to fresh soil.
- It will also help in avoiding foul smell as feces will get decomposed.
- It also helps avoid soil erosion because rotational grazing does not put pressure on a single area. Animals do not graze on the same patch of land, which allows the grass cover to replenish itself.
Things that need to be taken care of
- You need to make sure the patch of land being used for grazing has enough time to recover and replenish itself. A piece of land in the pasture requires ample time to replenish the grass cover. In the absence of break time, a particular patch of land within the pasture won’t be able to recover.
- Whenever animals are given access to a pasture, they tend to target the areas having the most savory grass. Consequently, some parts of the pasture are bound to be left overgrazed. The areas that are less palatable will be left under grazed. Animals will choose areas having green and live grass, whereas other areas will remain untouched (pretty much). In this way, the areas having richer reserves of grass will deplete if they aren’t provided with enough time to recover.
- In order to keep track of your pasture, you can undertake aerial monitoring. It happens to be a great way of keeping track of the grasslands when the area you own is big.
- Make sure that the grass that is being grazed upon is at least six-eight inches tall. The idea is to destress the grassland. If the grass isn’t tall enough, then it might get stressed and find it hard to rejuvenate itself.
Rotational grazing, however, will require frequent watering. If you want the green cover to replenish itself quickly, you will need to water the area regularly.
Rotational grazing is a great way of ensuring that the grasslands get ample time to recover. In this way, you are not putting pressure on a particular piece of land within the grazing area.