Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Good Morning, Sunshine!

After four days of dreary weather, rain and snow, we are finally back to what should be fall weather -- sunshine and 60s! To celebrate, there will be some serious outside activities today. Those potatoes will be dug; the hostas will be divided; and, all the summer "stuff" will be stored. There are herbs to pick and put in the dehydrator. And, the does and bucks all have to be shifted to new pastures.

We are trying a new method of parasite management. Well, actually, it isn't that new. Our forefathers knew this; we just forgot. In the past, there was more than enough pastures for grazers. While they may have been contained in pastures, most farmers had just the right ratio of animals to land. These days, we don't. Animals are crowded into lots or pastures far too small for the numbers. This results in exposure to parasites and worms that animals just don't have the immune system to resist.

Charlie and Connor enjoy their new space!

So, this year, we are trying the co-pasturing theory. This means that we have cows and chickens alternating pastures with the goats. And, we have split the goats into two herds to reduce the number on a pasture. It is a lot of upfront expense. There has to be fencing as well as housing in each pasture. Rain is death to goats, so, they must have access to cover. We have accomplished this by creative pasturing, creating an alleyway to each paddock which has a very clever (I am not at all proud) house constructed of fence panels and tarp or a stand alone bulding, depending on the field. The alley can be manipulated to allow consistent access to the milking parlor. Pretty cool.

Hollie demands a "little more hay, please!"

It is working. Our gals are fatter and happier than ever. We are not dealing with parasite overrun which means that we are not using chemicals or herbs too frequently. All in all, we are quite pleased. And the gals are, too.

Added later: Yeppers. The barn is purple. All the out buildings are. The does wanted purple and they got it!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! You must have quite a bit of land to accomplish all that! You sure sound like your busy. How do you find time to teach?



Thanks for dropping in on the farm today! I enjoy your comments!