I heard somewhere, I think it was Salatan, that he lets his grass rest for 100 days after his cows are on it, before letting them on it again. It doesn't matter how densely he crowds the field, the grass needs this much time to recover and make the grazing into a positive thing. Is this rest period about root recovery?
Goats, which would not be on pasture per say but rather a scrubby clearing in the forest, eating brush and some planted forages, would be in a similar situation?
I am in North Arkansas, in the ozarks. How long do you think it would take a forest gap to regenerate, to turn goat browsing into a healthy and positive thing for the plants there?
Salatin's system is a little more complex than that...yeah, the herd of X number of cattle graze and mob down the grass for a day out of a hundred, but then the get followed by the pigs and chickens...I don't know all the details but yeah...
There is no pat answer to your question, there are too many variables, but I would recommend some experiments...take x number of goats, and put them on x cubic (yes cubic) feet of browse...you figure the cubic by the avrrage height of goat nose when they reach up, photograph the foliage in a sample of that area, let the goats browse it down, recording the amount of foliage loss over x number of days, then move the herd on to another paddock...now do it all again in reverse...record photographically the recovery of hte foliage, and that number of days of recovery towards the original, or selected optimal foliage density will give you a rough figure based on number by type of goat, figured by cubic of foiage, for x number of days under similar weather conditions....
You want to rest for 30+ days to kill the parasite cycle. The rest depends on the land, the weather, and your goals (restoring the food source or controlling certain species).
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