• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

zone for critters

 
Glynna Muin
Posts: 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
was wondering what zone would a dairy cow and calf occupy?
 
John Polk
master steward
Pie
Posts: 8018
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
269
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Generally speaking, Zone 1 is the area immediately surrounding the house - where the things you do every day are.
Like garage/car port, work shop, kid's swing set, herb & kitchen gardens, BBQ, grape arbor w/ picnic table, etc.

Since hens need to be serviced every day, ie collecting eggs, feeding scraps/garden waste, 'lock-down' at dusk, etc it stands to reason that they belong in zone 1 (or at the edge between Z 1 & 2). You carry garden scraps on the way there, and eggs on the way home.

In my mind, a dairy cow w/calf falls into that same 'daily care' category. You don't want to be lugging pails of milk 400 yards every day. Perhaps, with the milking parlor being the border between zones 1 & 2.

If it was beef cattle, I'd say anywhere except zone 1 or 5.
 
Glynna Muin
Posts: 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
thanks
I have seen several videos online which put them in different zones or leave them out of the equation completely. I dream of having a 5 acre homestead with just a few different dairy animals including a cow with a calf raised for meat. I was thinking of having a milking area in the barn for daily milking and then turning the animals out to graze for the rest of the day with them returning in the evening for protection from predators. I want to practice holistic management for grazing with the homestead divided into several pastures. I thought that I would walk along a lane between the pastures which I would rotate the animals into day by day. The corridor I would think was in zone 1 since I would walk this daily but the barn could be as you said on the border of zone 1 and 2. I am not sure about the pastures. In one video by geoff lawton he mentions a property with a small dairy and the pasture as in zone 3. But in another video it says pastures are in zone 5 as you don't manage them after they are established.
 
Angelika Maier
Posts: 709
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Dairy cows were traditionally often in the same house than humans. Critters absolutely belong close to the house, unless it is only for meat. But you are close and hear if something is wrong or if the calf is coming. And milking twice a day in rain snow storm whatever.
 
John Polk
master steward
Pie
Posts: 8018
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
269
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Actually, I believe that pastures should be zone 3, rather than 2. Zone 2 is more about human food forest, whereas zone 3 would be more appropriately, livestock.

I cannot agree with Jeff about using zone 5 for this. Zone 5 is supposed to be left pretty much untouched, as it is meant to be a study area where you can observe what nature is doing without your intervention, so that you can observe how your land was meant to be used by nature. And also, a 'finished' pasture does not need much maintenance, it still needs to be observed and managed if your livestock depend on it. While it shouldn't require frequent or intensive work, it still will need to be tweaked a bit from time to time, and that requires keeping a close eye on it as the seasons progress. If we don't keep a good visual inspection going continuously, it can deteriorate rather quickly. The further away something is, the easier it is to ignore, especially during the busy seasons.



 
Glynna Muin
Posts: 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
thanks for all the input. i have been analyzing this a bit more and have come up with the idea that the milking parlor would definitely be in zone 1 since the milking and processing of the milk is a daily activity. But the pastures are a less regular activity. if i achieve my dream of a 5 acre homestead i could install a lane between at least 8 pastures of approximately 1/2 acre each. since i would rotate my milking animals through these pastures at least weekly and analyze the condition of the pastures on this same time schedule the pastures as well as the lane could fall into either zone 2 or three. so i think i have realized that this process has helped me think about the layout of the land but it may not be as important as i thought to designate pasture and lane into a zone category.
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic