OK, my question is not specific to cattle but cattle will be the cornerstone to my system...
I've been designing a plan for a silvopasture with a Shepard/Salatin style rotational grazing system with cattle, hogs, sheep and chickens coming through each 0.25 acre in succession (and probably in that order). As described in their books, this sounds logical and not too difficult with the right upfront infrastructure. But when I get down to details, I don't completely understand what type of fencing is used and how it all gets moved daily. Specifically, when I look at electric fences it seems that each animal has a different fence requirement, so do I need 4 different movable fences for 4 different animals? Do some fences stay permanent while others get moved?
What I'm really looking for is a video, article, or book that details the fencing for this system. I've seen videos for specific animals, but nothing that shows how one animal leaves and another comes next.
For my system, I have those fiberglass poles with movable insulators so that I can have one wire up high for horses and two or three wires down low for sheep. So, the same fencing "system" is used, but just adjusted to different heights according to what you are grazing. You almost have to do that when grazing something as big as a cow/horse and then grazing something like a sheep or pig after it. My horses are the easiest to fence in - one 3' or 4' high wire and they won't go near it. My sheep are the hardest to fence in- and sometimes have to be in the netting because they don't get zapped through all that wool.
Not sure what others do but this fencing is cheap and easy.
You should pop by the farm this week and see our setup. It works for us, but might not be ideal for your system. We move the cattle every morning. We have permanent fencing on the sides with moveable polywire cross fencing on insulted stakes in the middle. The trick is fresh water daily! The chickens move behind them weekly (so the cattle cover ~2-3 acres a week via 8-12 paddocks, with the chickens getting all 2-3 acres for the week). The hogs we have isolated at another part of the farm. We use the insulated stakes with two strands, and move them weekly. The hog system needs more attn as it is kind of a pain.
Gotta jump / Talk soon,
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posted 5 years ago
We're working toward a blend between what Dean is talking about doing and what Tim has in place. We have 100s of heritage appletrees that were planted in the 20s on 24 flood irrigated acres. Perfect silvopasture setup. I'm taking the Geoff LawtonPDC right now and my head is ready to explode with all of the possibilities. This year we're doing geese, ducks, turkeys, layers, broilers and hogs. Cattle maybe, if I can get the water sorted out. Next year; pocket ponds, swales and hugelbeds.
Dean, look at the cell grazing video on geofflawton.com. It's similiar to what we're striving toward. You might find it partially addresses your question.
Tim, I'll pm you regarding the ranch visit. We'd really look forward to it. Can't wait to see the Scottish Highland cattle too.
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