Goldenrod Down

Yesterday we parked the cows under a hedge tree in a dense, tall stand of goldenrod.  The cows were allowed to the right of the fence (the white line).


Panning a bit to the right, looking at the same place it looks like this now, 14 hours later.

TheDayAfterAs you get closer to the fence there is less trampling.  Makes sense.  The cows are well-trained because the fence is consistently hot.  But huge amounts of green material has been pushed into the soil.  My bees may miss the goldenrod (which makes a lousy honey by the way) in the fall but this is a great first step toward making my pastures better.  We’ll rinse and repeat over the coming years, ultimately getting ahead of the weeds.  The cows also showed me two honey locust trees I didn’t know about.  Hafta fix that.

The cows are up the hill now.  Still full from last night but every one of them has their head down, unless they are eating leaves from a tree.


6 thoughts on “Goldenrod Down

    • Because that’s what I hired cows to do.

      Grandpa Tom said it costs $100 every time you fire up a mower. I have found that to be true. Once I broke a cast housing when a tree limb reached out and grabbed the tractor exhaust. Several times I have hit strange and unknown objects with the mower that wrap themselves around the blades or bend the blades. Or the tractor breaks down. You get the idea. Tractors also cause soil compaction. I really try to limit trips across my ground. Cows will do the work. OK with me.

  1. I follow MoH on Trapper Creek, and I know you do too because that’s where I discovered you and your blog. You two have similar grazing plans. I am curious how many acres you graze? Also, what is it about honey locust trees you will “hafta fix”? I take it they are undesireable?

    • I had a honey locust thorn through my boot. It went in the bottom and came out the top. My foot got in the way. Countless tractor tires too. God forbid they go into a horse’s quick. They make a poor quality firewood, poor shade, poor lumber. I would rather have other trees. Black locust would be better. SO the “fix” is I pull the sprout next winter. I either have to pull it or poison the stump because they are persistent trees.

      I have 10 cows grazing 13 acres on a 20 acre farm. Starting next spring I’ll have the whole 60 to myself but, for now, my cousin rents the other 40. So I have a 10 cow mob…or no mob at all. But with 10 cows it’s easier to spot and correct my mistakes than if I had a larger herd at my current experience level. There have always been cows here. They have never been grazed like this. Lots to learn.

  2. Since we just have the 2 cows we’re going to try to go to a much smaller grazing area and move them daily or every other day. With the predicted heat coming in the next week and lack of trees in some of the areas do you think we should graze them in the new area after milking in the evening and put them back into a shaded area in the day? I sure appreciate all the info you share and I know you’re still in that learning curve but you sure know more than we do! 😀 Thanks.

    • Thanks. I do the best I can for my cows.

      You really have about 4 days before you have to worry about grazing re-growth…and who cares about re-growth if your cows don’t survive to graze it? How would it be to pivot around a tree? Setting it up so they can always get to shade in the day but each evening they get new grass. Salatin uses portable shade shelters. Maybe you could use a running gear with a tarp up high. Hmm. Maybe I should do that…

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