Right now the girls (and boy) are on the alfalfa field. We graze the field in strips 20′ deep and maybe 40′ wide…but really that depends on how much forage is out there. Each day they get another 20′ added on until we run out of field. Then we start at the pond again and munch it all down. Here are the strips in the alfalfa field. The foreground shows the difference between where they have grazed and where they haven’t. I’m letting the cows crop it pretty close.
The grazing is not their only source of nutrition. I split one square bale into two piles early each morning. Initially I was doing this because the alfalfa was still fresh in the field. I wanted the cows to have a bulk of dry matter before they could eat fresh alfalfa to prevent bloat. Now I do it just to stretch my field and put more manure down. I could put them in a feed lot and just feed them hay but I think they are better off with a bit of fresh greens daily. Besides, this way I don’t have to haul manure.
Speaking of manure, this is looking a little on the dry side:
I don’t want it to pile. I want it to dip…but not drip. Their manure tells me if they are getting enough protein in their diet and tells me a fair amount about their overall condition. For the most part things are looking good. Anywho. That’s probably enough talk about cow manure.
Half of my farm is still standing stockpiled and waiting for the cows. Good thing too. Hopefully we’ll wrap up the alfalfa field by mid-December and begin on the real stockpile on the hill they haven’t grazed since July. That will clear disemmemberment hill for sledding later in the winter.