Lawn Moo-wers

2017-08-09 10.53.40

After lots of rain and sun this summer, the grass in our pastures is growing tall and thick. Which isn’t something I’ll ever complain about (it sure beats the alternative) but it is a bit of a problem. Our herd of 14 goats is barely making a dent on the 5 acre portion that they are on, and the other two sections are just getting taller by the day. If we don’t do something the grass will die back in the winter and form a matted mess that is difficult for the new growth to break through next spring. Really tall grass also attracts and supports a lot of bugs, including those that bite and suck on both livestock and people. Plus it looks really bad and over grown. We considered having someone come out and harvest it for hay but its not really the proper type of grass for hay (its mostly bahia which is better for grazing than for haying, or so I’ve been told). We considered just hiring someone to mow it all down but a) that seems very wasteful b) I worry that the dead grass left in the fields will kill the grass that it covers, leaving us with bare spots and c) it isn’t a very sustainable solution since it should be done twice a year and would cost several hundred dollars each time.

2017-08-15 20.18.15

We opted for a much more fun solution- – we are borrowing cows! While looking for advice on a online farming forum we got in touch with someone in the area who has a small herd of mini Hereford cows and not enough pasture for them. Instead of pouring expensive feed into them every day, he’d much rather have them eating grass. And I’d love to have them eating OUR grass. Cows are, from what I’ve heard, the best animal for maintaining pastures because they eat a lot of grass (unlike the goats) and are gentle grazers and don’t pull the grass up by its roots (like horses).

2017-08-16 13.08.47

We now have 4 mini herefords (3 cows and a bull) and a young belted galloway steer in the front pasture. I have no idea how long it will take them to get the grass under control but once its a length we like we will swap them with the goats in the back pasture. We may even fix the broken fencing in the smaller front pasture and let them get it under control for us too. And the best part is, once we run out of pasture we will just send them home! Plus, I think they are pretty cute…

2017-08-16 13.09.47

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