• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • paul wheaton
  • Mike Haasl
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • John F Dean
  • Carla Burke
  • Greg Martin
  • Jay Angler
  • Leigh Tate
  • thomas rubino

Rotationally grazing horse

Posts: 89
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Any advice on rotating a horse and donkey, and the effects that will have on the pasture? We have been rotating them for about 6 months now, but they don't eat nearly as much of a variety as ruminants would. Should we mow the weeds down that they leave? We cleared trees and have a lot of bare ground and weeds in our biggest area, but we also have some areas of established grass. Thanks!
Posts: 117
Location: The Ocala National Forest. Florida, USA
goat forest garden chicken
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I mow the weeds. I have one horse, 2 cows and a few goats I rotate ove 1-1/2 acres of grass and do mow the 'roughs' and weeds periodically. Equids typically won't eat over their bathroom areas and grass an weeds get to go to seed there. If I have desirable weeds I try an harvest seed to scatter elsewhere then mow it... I haven't mowed it yet this year, but have chopped some undesirable stuff with the swing blade. It will get mowed soon...
Posts: 6686
Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
hugelkultur dog forest garden duck fish fungi hunting books chicken writing homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Non ruminants can't digest things like goats or cattle, because of this even the browser donkey will be picky about what they eat.
Our donkey loves grasses, tender branches except for oak are on the dinner plate (fruit trees except for Figs are apparently a real treat).
She will bypass many of the weeds and tough grasses but she does a fair job of keeping the pasture areas mowed, leaving just the tough, woody plants for me to scythe down.

Our donkey is free range, no fences for her as yet. When we do fence some areas for her, she will get about 1/4 acre per day to munch. I came up with this size by watching how much she grazes down every day.
If we had more than one, I would have to increase the size to 1/4 acre per animal per day I think.

Over seeding with those plants your animals cherish is a good way to get rid of the nasty, non palatable weeds, just mow close and over seed heavily a few times to make sure those undesirables are shaded out.

Wheat is great for winter greens for horses and donkeys, it will grow to around 8 inches tall and regrow every time they eat it down, in the spring you can let it go or they can keep eating it and it will then die out because it has been clipped close when it needed to grow tall.

Unofficial Companion Guide to the Rocket Oven DVD
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic