Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Rotation Stops

For four months, the sheep played musical pastures. I moved them one from pasture, let them graze it some, and then moved them to the next. This kept mowing to a minimum and also kept the grass from becoming overgrazed. The rotation stopped this week. They are now stuck in a small, mostly-fescue grass pasture and are eating hay. They'll stay there until a pasture recovers and is six to ten inches high again. With the hot weather we're having, it could be for four to six weeks. When managing pastures, I don't let the grasses get grazed to below a few inches. The reason is that when grasses are grazed this low, it takes them a long time to recover. In the long run, it's better to pull the animals off of them and feed them hay. When cooler, wetter weather comes in the fall, the sheep can go back on the pastures and have grazing time into winter. The downside is that the sheep are becoming noisy when they see me. They equate me with food, and have started that incessant baaing again.

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