• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Smallest hayless system known?

 
Josh Evans
Posts: 7
Location: WV - USDA Zone 6-7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
? for Chris or anyone else. I live in the eastern US and so much of the land has been chopped up and turned into small parcels. Therefore, I'm mostly interested in the scaling down of sustainable systems to use and promote now but can also act as a bridge to a future that will hopefully look very different. So my question is this: With any grazing animal/ruminant, what is the smallest known/observed/achieved rotational hayless no-import system that you know of? At this point, for millions of people to change, they'll need an accessible methodology to mimic and get them motivated to learn and get their hands dirty. Since each animal has some sort of baseline in terms of nutritional needs, I realize that there's a limit somewhere, but since I hear either a lot of theory or large scale examples, it's hard for me to decipher and translate. I'm thinking space, rotations, and head count here, sqft. or acres. Also, I realize that variables will come into play, case-study wise, such as latitude, solar exposure, soil quality/depth, etc. Thanks.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1277
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Josh, there has been some answer when we spoke with Allan Savory.
He says to consider separately the fact of being the owner of the cattle, and the owner of the land.

So, he says to group animals that belong to different persons and make them graze together on all the available land.

In my case, that will be chicks and guinea pigs on my own land!! Too small here...
 
Lm McWilliams
Posts: 49
Location: USDA Zone 5
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Xisca Nicolas wrote:Josh, there has been some answer when we spoke with Allan Savory.
He says to consider separately the fact of being the owner of the cattle, and the owner of the land.

So, he says to group animals that belong to different persons and make them graze together on all the available land.

In my case, that will be chicks and guinea pigs on my own land!! Too small here...


Don't forget rabbits! <smile!>

Geese are great for smaller areas of pasture, as they get nearly all of their feed from grazing grasses and forbs, including
legumes. They are easy to herd, produce tasty eggs as well as meat, and most domestic breeds cannot fly, so they can be
managed with portable poultry netting. When electrified, the netting essentially eliminated predator issues. They are also
reliable setters and great parents. We've never had a problem with aggressive geese (except when protecting nests or goslings),
but among the many breeds wehave owned, the American Buffs seem to be the most 'laid back'. Close neighbors means that
geese may not be the best choice (though the African & Chinese breeds are far louder).

It is great to have large acreages to work with, but the beauty of both Holistic Management and Permaculture is that they are
totally scaleable! And flexible to meet the needs of the people involved, and the particulars of each piece of land.

Have fun experimenting with 'small stock' on your small plot of land!
 
Thomas Pate
Posts: 15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My understanding at this point, never having had cattle, is if your pasture is too small the cattle will find a way to break out. I think if this happens you call it a loss and hope they make it on their own.
 
Chris Stelzer
Author
Posts: 118
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Josh Evans wrote:? for Chris or anyone else. I live in the eastern US and so much of the land has been chopped up and turned into small parcels. Therefore, I'm mostly interested in the scaling down of sustainable systems to use and promote now but can also act as a bridge to a future that will hopefully look very different. So my question is this: With any grazing animal/ruminant, what is the smallest known/observed/achieved rotational hayless no-import system that you know of? At this point, for millions of people to change, they'll need an accessible methodology to mimic and get them motivated to learn and get their hands dirty. Since each animal has some sort of baseline in terms of nutritional needs, I realize that there's a limit somewhere, but since I hear either a lot of theory or large scale examples, it's hard for me to decipher and translate. I'm thinking space, rotations, and head count here, sqft. or acres. Also, I realize that variables will come into play, case-study wise, such as latitude, solar exposure, soil quality/depth, etc. Thanks.


Josh, I'm not sure, that is a very good question. I'm sure you could get 5-10 acres and run one small cow year round. I'd also have 30 days of hay available as well in case of an emergency. I think if you are talking about areas this small it might be better to get smaller livestock or grow edibles. Maybe rabbits, chickens or ducks or something small might be a better fit. Or, you can seek out neighbors that have land and try to lease it from them for grazing and you can slowly acquire more and more land. Or you could put your livestock in with someone else's herd. There are lots of creative options, keep thinking. I wish I had a better answer for you!
 
Guarren cito
Posts: 79
Location: Zone 4A
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm also trying to figure this out as I have a small plot of land.

I figured to expand to more plants than just grass. Cows even will eat plants other than grass. Goats are of course an option too.

To provide access to root crops have pigs in there to so they start the digging for the cows, goats, and chicken.

The picture below is what I'm planning for a year round zero input system in NH.

From left to right: wheat, pumpkin, radish, sunchoke tubers, unpruned (low or weeping) fruit trees, Siberian pea shrub, honey locust, potatoes, black locust, winter berries, nut trees, field corn, and hazelnut.
image.jpg
[Thumbnail for image.jpg]
Winter pasture
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic