Today was a big day for the bucks (and us too). They got a paddock outside of their pen so they could browse and graze in the forest. Prior to today, I would chop down saplings and bring them fresh forage. Now they can harvest their own food.
"Rotational grazing" means controlling when and where an animal grazes by moving the animals between grazing locations (aka paddocks) on a regular basis. For us, we move our goats to a new paddock every 3-7 days. This is very rare for goats, which are normally managed in confinement or with access to single pasture. You may have heard of rotational grazing in relation to raising beef cows, but for dairy goats it's almost unheard of.
Fencing is what I spend the most time doing (and thinking about) on the farm. That's probably why I bore our readers with posts about fencing so frequently. My time is split between so many different things that saying one thing dominates another is hard to do, but fencing is a clear standout. So saddle-up for another fencing thriller: Electro-Netting vs. Polywire.
Male animals on the farm are a difficult proposition. They’re harder to manage, they’re stronger and they generally only have one thing on their mind. Yet you need them to make milk. If you don’t have babies you don’t have milk. So we needed some bucks to help us breed our ladies this fall for milk in the spring.
Since we started putting the goats out on pasture we’ve received a surprising amount of interest about the method we’re using. I certainly don’t think it’s the best method, but it works for us right now and over time I’m sure it will change a lot. In fact, we’ve already made a number of changes since we first started a couple weeks ago.