Mob Grazing

I came across this posting this morning. I spend a couple of hours most mornings (waiting for it to get light enough to see to do chores) catching up on paperwork, researching, posting in both this Journal and on Facebook. I recognize that some of you who are readying this do not “do” Facebook (I don’t blame you) so I’m going to try to be better about keeping this Journal up to date.  I’m using a new tool called “Press This” which enables me to post to this journal no matter where I am on the Internet which is neat.

I have been in the process of applying for two grants to expand our pastured rabbit program and add a vegetable and herb component to the farm.  I hope I am able to get at least one of these grants because it will be very, very helpful.  No matter though, I believe we are committed to getting the rabbits moved from where they are now to a piece of pasture in the back.  Last week, Wally mowed the area and we were very happy to see that it is very level and it gives us at least six times more space to graze rabbits which we desperately need.  Unfortunately, we need to buy electric netting and a charger before we put them out there and that’s an expensive investment so for now, they’ll stay where they are.

Originally, I had obtained a quote from a local farmer to have the area “prepared” but the more I read and think about it, I think it’s would be better to minimize preparation.  I need to plant better forage for the rabbits and ultimately, I will need to do some tilling to raise vegetables, but the least amount I can disturb the land, the better it will be for all concerned.

The farmer who came to give me the quote for preparation of the land wanted to spray the area with Round-up.  I told him, no, we won’t be doing that.   I lost face with him at that point, which doesn’t matter because we won’t be needing his help.

There’s the possibility of doing some seeding using no-till drilling or frost seeding.  Frost seeding is broadcasting seeds on mid-January to February and the expansion and contraction of the soil due to frost essentially buries the seeds so they germinate.  You have to keep the grass mowed (or grazed) down to prevent competition during germination, but we’ve got the mob to do the grazing.  I’ve been reading about mob grazing and it’s a good idea, but up until now, I haven’t had enough cows to do it with.  I do now.

Lots to think about it.

Ran into a serious road block with Shine (or new Border Collie) yesterday.  We simply do not have the stock to train her on.  I started Gel on ducks and then young goats and got him trained without sheep or a round pen, but right now, our youngest goats have too much attitude for a young dog.  I separated them off yesterday from the adult goats and brought them down into the back to try to get some training on Shine.  It was a fiasco, for many reasons.  So, it will be ducks for now and we’ll see what happens. I’m incredibly spoiled with Gel.  He is so damned good in so many ways, any other dog just doesn’t cut it.

Until later …