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Rotational grazing on small scale  RSS feed

 
Posts: 22
Location: Tucson, United States
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Is anyone running rotational grazing on a smaller scale but using Joel Salatin's methods?

Info, I live in Southern AZ. Tucson to be exact. The land is in a small micro climate though that is cooler than most areas around Tucson, more frost and freeze days but no snow except the very rare occasion. USDA zone 9b/10a I think it was?

I am moving to a new homestead in a month or two and the previous owner had cows. The land is in pretty good shape mostly with tall mesquite trees covering the main pasture. The whole land is 3.5 acres and I estimate around 2 acres split into 2 pastures. 1 pasture is the main pasture the cows have stayed in and graze, probably around 1.5 acres, lush green grass from what I've seen. The secondary pasture is pretty beat up, its what they stay in when its wet, or winter, or the main pasture is just grazed too much. Mostly dirt, etc.  The neighbor has perfectly manicured grass due to solid irrigation and mowing and he dumps the clippings into the pasture with the cows to feed them for the previous owner and get rid of them for himself lol. Those clippings along with spent grain from a local brewery(step uncle is good friends with the brewery owner so he gets them pretty regular) and then supplemental hay as needed in winter is how they have been surviving as long as I have known. The land was my step grandmother's. The cows used to always be 2 cows, bred every year and every year the yearlings or however old they were would be slaughtered and the parents kept 1 for meat and the sons got the other for meat. The cows were getting older so they let 2 younger cows grow up and with the parents having health problems and passing away there are now 6 cows. The older 2 will be sold at auction and maybe 1 or 2 will be slaughtered for beef and I imagine we will end up with 2-3. I want to start rotational grazing. I am trying to research as much as possible to get a decent idea of what they will need. There are a couple chickens on site but they are just kept in a coop. I would like to use a tractor and get them helping behind the cows as well. I also plan to raise quail and rabbits eventually but don't want to get too many irons in the fire right away. Eventually I will also work on garden and food forest. This pasture land is also plumbed and irrigated with sprinklers off a well, the whole house was on a well but the city got water in the area and they opted to get city water as the well was being temperamental. Mostly breakers needing reset and hard water needed softening and they decided to get "reliable water" since they were in their 80s. Most of what I was reading says 100-200 sq yards per cow per day, I roughed out some drawings and looks like I could get 33ish paddocks around 300 sq yards. Would 33 days be enough rest with irrigated pasture land? I know Joel gets more and most things I've read say 30 as a minimum but I dont think that takes into account irrigated pasture. That also includes 25 really good paddocks in the main pasture and 8 that need help in the overrused pasture. Hopefully with better grazing practices and a little help we can get those back to lush paddocks as well. We don't get snow here usually and this land actually seems to get better "winter rye" than summer grass according to my step father.

If you tractor chickens in would you still want to wait 4 days after the cows? How many chickens do you think it would take to keep up with 3 cows? I know there are bobcats, raccoons, hawks and owls so I think I will be using tractors and not able to free range them. Would rabbits fit into the system with tractors as well or would that be better to just set up in hutches? I would prefer they get as much living on the land as possible and maybe only keep breeders separated. Not sure where they fit in best in the rotation.

Anyways, thanks for listening to my rambling and any help or guidance you can provide would be greatly appreciated!
 
Posts: 181
Location: Denmark 57N
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Jay Berryman wrote:Is anyone running rotational grazing on a smaller scale but using Joel Salatin's methods?

Info, I live in Southern AZ. Tucson to be exact. The land is in a small micro climate though that is cooler than most areas around Tucson, more frost and freeze days but no snow except the very rare occasion. USDA zone 9b/10a I think it was?

I am moving to a new homestead in a month or two and the previous owner had cows. The land is in pretty good shape mostly with tall mesquite trees covering the main pasture. The whole land is 3.5 acres and I estimate around 2 acres split into 2 pastures. 1 pasture is the main pasture the cows have stayed in and graze, probably around 1.5 acres, lush green grass from what I've seen. The secondary pasture is pretty beat up, its what they stay in when its wet, or winter, or the main pasture is just grazed too much. Mostly dirt, etc.  The neighbor has perfectly manicured grass due to solid irrigation and mowing and he dumps the clippings into the pasture with the cows to feed them for the previous owner and get rid of them for himself lol. Those clippings along with spent grain from a local brewery(step uncle is good friends with the brewery owner so he gets them pretty regular) and then supplemental hay as needed in winter is how they have been surviving as long as I have known. The land was my step grandmother's. The cows used to always be 2 cows, bred every year and every year the yearlings or however old they were would be slaughtered and the parents kept 1 for meat and the sons got the other for meat. The cows were getting older so they let 2 younger cows grow up and with the parents having health problems and passing away there are now 6 cows. The older 2 will be sold at auction and maybe 1 or 2 will be slaughtered for beef and I imagine we will end up with 2-3. I want to start rotational grazing. I am trying to research as much as possible to get a decent idea of what they will need. There are a couple chickens on site but they are just kept in a coop. I would like to use a tractor and get them helping behind the cows as well. I also plan to raise quail and rabbits eventually but don't want to get too many irons in the fire right away. Eventually I will also work on garden and food forest. This pasture land is also plumbed and irrigated with sprinklers off a well, the whole house was on a well but the city got water in the area and they opted to get city water as the well was being temperamental. Mostly breakers needing reset and hard water needed softening and they decided to get "reliable water" since they were in their 80s. Most of what I was reading says 100-200 sq yards per cow per day, I roughed out some drawings and looks like I could get 33ish paddocks around 300 sq yards. Would 33 days be enough rest with irrigated pasture land? I know Joel gets more and most things I've read say 30 as a minimum but I dont think that takes into account irrigated pasture. That also includes 25 really good paddocks in the main pasture and 8 that need help in the overrused pasture. Hopefully with better grazing practices and a little help we can get those back to lush paddocks as well. We don't get snow here usually and this land actually seems to get better "winter rye" than summer grass according to my step father.

If you tractor chickens in would you still want to wait 4 days after the cows? How many chickens do you think it would take to keep up with 3 cows? I know there are bobcats, raccoons, hawks and owls so I think I will be using tractors and not able to free range them. Would rabbits fit into the system with tractors as well or would that be better to just set up in hutches? I would prefer they get as much living on the land as possible and maybe only keep breeders separated. Not sure where they fit in best in the rotation.

Anyways, thanks for listening to my rambling and any help or guidance you can provide would be greatly appreciated!



Tractored chickens isn't going to work if the idea is to have them clean up after the cows. chickens in a tractor can only reach the area covered by the tractor, 300sqr yards per day is what you seem to be implying you will have that you would like them to follow the cows on. that's a LOT of chicken tractors to get that covered. We have mink foxes hawks and freerange chickens, not had any issues losing them during the day, but they MUST be shut up at night, I would suggest maybe a moveable coop with electric poultry netting that way you could let them roam a much larger area than you could in a tractor.
I have found that with my little chicken tractor (actually built for rabbits, but hey life) Two chickens in a tractor a little over a meter wide by 4 long only need moving once every 3-4 days on longish grass, I move them daily but that's just so they don't dig dustbaths. My chickens are only ever in there if they are in solitary confinement or broody.
 
Jay Berryman
Posts: 22
Location: Tucson, United States
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Thanks for the reply! I was thinking the same thing actually, I wonder how many chickens I would need to clean up 300 sq yards.

 
pollinator
Posts: 539
Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
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bee chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur hunting
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Jay, I am thinking of something similar, with two netting enclosures. One for herbivores, then the other for poultry with a mobile coop in it. The coop will have a solar panel and deep cycle battery and will charge both nettings.

The secret is you have to give the larvae time to grow if you want the chuks to do the cleanup. I think salatin waits three days. So I am going to have an insulated wire to run the distance between the two paddocks. Hope this helps. One deep cycle should be able to supply four 160' net sections from what I read. You should be even more capable with all the sunlight you get.
 
Jay Berryman
Posts: 22
Location: Tucson, United States
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Forgot to share some pics, not the best and it was during the heat of summer but these are the ones I got online

https://imgur.com/a/9lZP5
 
pollinator
Posts: 2105
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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I my opinion, section of land should have a 30day rest. and only used for one day.

So divide the land into 4 section for each week, and then sub-divide each week into 7 (4 times 7).
And I would just move them every day. After moving the herbivore, 3 days later I would bring the chicken to break the pest life cycle.

You might ask how can my 2acres support my "3" herbivore sustainable.
You might have to reduce the amount of herbivore or you can try to increase the productivity of the "pasture".
If they have eaten the daily section of pasture after just 4hr and anymore time would just be damaging the land you might have to remove them to a single sacrificial pen-pasture and feed them grain.

One of the big reason why rotational  grazing works is because the cow manure stays on the plot of land that they ate from. So maybe you will have to bring them back to the active pasture section at night so that they can deposit the manure and close the cycle.
 
Jay Berryman
Posts: 22
Location: Tucson, United States
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That's what I'm thinking, I figured I could get around 33 paddocks around 60'x60' on the land. We will be cutting them down to 1-2 cows and probably breeding 1-2 per year. If we supplement feed should I feed in the pen for the day? What about spent grain from the brewery? That seems to kill grass when it's piled on for days(they get a trailer load), but maybe it would be fine for feeding them, or use a bucket to feed them, I'm not sure how they are feeding them the grain now. Is different grasses best? Any other plants to feed them? I was kinda thinking about comfrey or other plants to help aerate the soil with roots and dynamic accumulation? Even if the cows won't eat it, it should help the soil?
 
S Bengi
pollinator
Posts: 2105
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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I like the buddy system so two cows, and breeding 1 at a time sounds like a wonderful idea to me ("veal" + milk).
If you can give them some salt (multimineral) and re-ferment those grains with some kefir + amazake(koji) inoculate, I think it would help.

Two acres cant support 3 cow esp in the desert so some hay/grain supplement will have to happen.

The goal is to get alot of manure on the paddock, I am 75% sure they drop most of the manure at night so maybe eat grass in the morning for 2 hours mob feeding then move to feeding pen for holding where in there they will drop very little manure, then at sunset, feed them in some bucket, then send them back into the active paddock so that they can drop all the manure at night without over-grazing. then at sunrise move them, encourage mob grazing  and repeat the steps.

Hopefully all that mineralized manure + beneficial microbes will increase the soil fertility. You can drop some grass seed into the paddock when you move them and have them trample it into the soil sowing it with manure.

Here is my pasture list too, unfortunately it might not be optimize for your climate  
The main thing to remember is that you want 4 types of plants 1.N-fixers, 2.Drymass, 3.Pest control/medicine, 4.Aerating roots
I would plant 7-12 plants in each category.
mustard
burdock
alfalfa
lamb's quarter
fava bean
sweet clover
lupine
landino clover
buckwheat
hairy vetch
daikon
black-eyed peas
comfrey
sun flower
yarrow
borage
chamomile
dandelion
turnip
bee balm
lavender
mullein
pea (pisum arvitiuse)
stinging nettle
chard
maximillian sunflower
sorghum
 


 
Jay Berryman
Posts: 22
Location: Tucson, United States
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As of right now 6 cows are on the land and not being controlled, in my opinion, probably overgrazing and once it gets too bad they are finally moved. They are getting supplemental feed though. My thoughts are first will be to thin the herd, 2 oldest are going to auction and I am not sure if they are planning on slaughtering the younger 2 or not. I hope to use the paddock shift and supplement feed within them to add to the nutrients/biomass. IE if I bring in hay then anything not eaten will get stomped in and returned to earth. Is there other healthy supplemental feeds for the cows and earth? The whole land is canopy covered with large mesquite trees so there is a lot of nitrogen fixing going on. We are already planning on blocking off new growth on a bunch of them to start bringing up replacements. I am also debating adding new trees for diversity and maybe even something like Black locust for firewood. That list is awesome, I will definitely be looking into what all this zone will support.
 
Posts: 514
Location: North-Central Idaho, 4100 ft elev., 24 in precip
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To get a really good idea of what that pasture will sustainable support you'll want to get a forage inventory done.  You can contact your local NRCS or soil conservation district and they'll likely do the testing for you.  Once you find out exactly how much forage your land produces you can figure the carrying capacity.  You'll get pretty good regrowth with your long growing season and irrigated pasture, but you will want to make sure you have a long enough rest to fully recover your pasture between grazing events.  That time will likely change from season to season and you'll have to be flexible to get the best results from your land.  Figure out how much forage you've got and go from there.  Your cattle will need to consume in the neighborhood of 3% of their body weight in dry matter daily, more if you're looking to finish an animal on pasture.
 
Dave Dahlsrud
Posts: 514
Location: North-Central Idaho, 4100 ft elev., 24 in precip
36
books food preservation fungi hugelkultur trees
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BTW, if you're looking to ferment the spent brewers grain (someone mentioned that earlier) you'll need to supply some sort of carbohydrate since most will be leached out of the grains in the brewing process.  I've used soaked fresh grains for this with pretty good success int he past.  Lot's of protein not much carbohydrate in the the spent grains so you'll need to take that into account as you formulate your feed ration.  I like pigs and chickens/ducks for the grains myself....
 
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Hi, I'm new to this posting type communication so bare with me. Didn't even know if you are still monitoring this blog or what ever its called. Just trying to get into the conversation to try and give advise and find advise. Our situation may be similar. I have only 1 acre and run 3 cows, 2 pigs, 12 chickens and 4 ducks. I've been doing this for 1 1/2 yrs. I'm like you I've research Salitan and everybody elses opinions. usually I try to take a small thing from everybody and mix it with my situation and come up with my own solution. So here is what I've done that works, hopefully it helps you. I currently have 1 acre broke into 3 paddocks, rotate out every 7 days. Cut grass every second time grazed. with it only being 1 acre I can irrigate daily if needed and fertilize as needed. Seems to work fine for us. This year I did set a 1/4 of a section aside and planted millet, buckwheat and bermuda. Seems to be working well. Both millet and buckwheat can be hand sowed and work. So I've gradually been spreading thu-out the rest of the paddocks. In Sept I will begin to do the same with some cool season crops, I'm going to try wheat, oats, barley turnips and rape. We will wait and see how that works. Also use hay from Novemeber to March. I do have one steer that I am finishing him out on grain. Here chickens are $3.00 a chick so I can afford to lose some and no harm. We do have coyotes but the fencing of the paddocks seems to have confused them enough to keep them out. Also out neighbor does have horses. I've been told Donkeys help keep coyotes out. We let out chickens free range no issues for 1 1/2 yrs. roosters are the best for spreading manure in paddocks, they all seem to want to impress the hens by finding them food. I'll get several in early spring and by fall once there grown I sell or trade off or put some in the freezer and keep the hens for egg layers. They have completed their job by the end of summer. Oh yeh my biggest thing to let you in on are my cows. We have low-line cows. 1 bull, 1 steer and 1 heifer. Its plenty of meat for me and my wife. Less strain on the pasture and fencing. a little pricey to get started as compared to regular cows. You can also research miniature cows for jersey, herefords, zebu and dexters, depending on what you want them for beef, milk, lawnmowers or pets. Don't laugh. research them. they are perfect for small farms. Hope this has helped. perhaps we can share more information later. Good luck
 
Posts: 30
Location: Alberta, Great White North zone 4
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How is your land shaped? Rectangle square? Where is the water? Im doing an ally down the middle of my pasture to give access to water. Then i can give them there daily grass from the ally. I put my chickens right beside the water since this is where the main and consistant parasite load is.
The rest of the grass get enough rest to not have to worrie about it. Try not to think of how many sqr foot the pastures should be but how much they need depending on how the grass is doing. They will need alot more room with low grass growth then with fresh green growth.
This is why you need electric in the middle so that its easy to move if you change your mind and depending on the weather.
If you can get set up to give the cows freah grass every day and provide them with water and mineral then you will be in a good spot to put your pastures in wayyy better shape. Then worry about moving chickens around and reseeding to better plants and whatever else.
 
rob macintosh
Posts: 30
Location: Alberta, Great White North zone 4
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Another thing ive noticed is a little bit of whole grain fed to the cows really gets the chickens inserested in the cow pats. Also alot of seeds can be fed to the cows to seed the pastures.
 
S Bengi
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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I like the idea of moving the cows right at sunrise and then coming back around sunset to add brewery spent grain/hay/etc.

The most important part is having the 30+ rotational paddocks and then adding enough supplemental feed at the end of the day to help the cows gain weight.

I like the chickens and the cows going thru the paddock at the same time, more insects  are surring about and also more protection for the chickens. But having the chicken follow behind 3 days later to eat the hatched cow pest is another big goal, so maybe two flock of chickens?
 
pollinator
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I have some questions i hope yall can help me with. Assume 2 adult females and 1 bull. 2 female babies that will be slaughtered.

Research indicated it takes 2 years to get to slaughter (fat being developed for tasty meat). First question- is this correct?

Assuming its correct, how are you able to keep the bull away from them with just a single electric wire? This is what i dont get with small scale rotational grazing.  Are the people using this method just buying babies and raising them for slaughter,  then buying more? Or just keeping the baby males for slaughter?

This required separation would sure put a kink into any initial math/thought you put into fitting animals in a small space. At 18, i would have run through an electric fence wire if a willing female was on the other side, I'm sure its the same for a bull.
 
Bennette Pool
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What type cows do you have? 2 yrs is probably a good average.
A lot depends on breed of cow and condition.
Look for good rump fat around tail area, thick brisket and wider leg stance all good signs of good fat.
I think the big question is what are you going to do with the bull once all the girls are gone?
I keep 3 animals. A breeding pair and then sale or slaughter the offspring depending on time and sex of the calf and how much meat is in the freezer.
 
Bennette Pool
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Are you going grass fed or finishing on grain?
 
wayne fajkus
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I have 2 breeders and the bull. Charlais. I can keep these on grass with the land i have. So every year i will get 2 babies that i will raise to butcher. Depending on my needs, i may keep one and sell 1/2's or 1/4's on one or both. Basically i take it to the slaughter house but the customer picks up the meat there. That meets the legalities here in TX.

The problem is separation of the babies for 6 months to a year from the base 3. Not sure i can rotate them into the same pastures without the bull getting to them.

It appears that the people doing intense rotational grazing are not breeding them. They are buying at 500 pounds and selling at 1000 pounds. To complete the full cycle (breeding, bull) puts a whole new pressure on electric fences with this method. Not to mention having 2 paddocks being utilized at the same time.
 
wayne fajkus
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Because of my specific situation i plan to do a happy feedlot. Its ruffly 1 acre. I'll feed them hay and grain.  I should be able to put them on pasture 1 day a week. Im having to manage the distance between  them and the bull. Some, but not all, of my fences are bull proof. The feedlot will be fully grown with grass when they get there, but it won't last.
 
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look up Gabe Brown on youtube. He runs hundreds of cow/calf pairs on thousands of acres, BUT everything he talks about can be scaledup or down. He does it without synthetic anything and he does it without irrigation with an average of 16" a year, which I know is a bit more than Tucson gets, but he will give you some good ideas. And every year his soil tests are better and better.  Also look at http://bionutrient.org/site/library/videos/dan-kittredge-living-web-farms for good info on improving the land and getting it up to optimum nutrition.

If necessary put in a loafing shed and pen where you can feed them good hay, or add some hay out on the pasture to keep it from getting overgrazed. I have land that will take me years to get back to even decent condition because of wood cutting and overgrazing. Right now there are areas where even the prickly pear died.

Your idea of small paddocks with electronet is a good one. You will just have to watch the plants and learn when they are ready to be grazed again without harm. If you have irrigation you could have a clover/alfalfa/grass mix or you could do a mixed cover crop that you can graze, Gabe talks a lot about that in a couple of videos.

You might try out grazing one day then one day on hay or graze one and 2 on hay to get some longer lead time before grazing again. Yes it will cost a bit more at first, but it will give the pasture time to recover from past overgrazing.

Chicken caution: EVERYTHING wants to have chicken dinner! skunks, coons, bobcats, stray dogs, owls, hawks, everything! Use the electronet, use a mobile coop you can lock them up in at night and add things they can hide under during the day, for shade as well as from hawks, even just pallets on bricks, just high enough for them to get under.

Check out http://abundantpermaculture.com/ for good info on building mobile coops and using chickens to prep garden areas
 
Bennette Pool
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What is the purpose of your venture?
Is it for profit, growing your on food or just the enjoyment?

I ass/u/me your bull will be the one breeding your breeders. So once they are bred they wont be coming back into cycle.
Then ass/u/me you have 2 new calves.
If they are 2 bulls, just have them steered.
If 1 or both are heifers sell them off.
Or keep one up until around 1 to 1 1/2 yrs and take to slaughter.
There's no set in stone age or weight to slaughter. Its up to you and what ever your goals are.
If you sell off the heifers as calves I would assume your profits would be close to the same since you saved on feed for those 2 yrs.

On your pasture not sure of your size or grass but I had similar situation.
I started setting aside areas for cover crops to improve soil and also extra grazing.
Even if the plants don't have time to fully develop if your rotating in and out it will eventually help.
If you don't have a lot of land even just a small strips at time will help.

I used pearl millet, buckwheat and peas that grew great in the peak of summer when other grasses where scorching from August heat.
In the fall planted rye, peas, turnips, wheat and barley.

This helped greatly on my soil and kept feed cost down in winter.
The cows where able to graze on into the winter months cutting hay cost way back.
 
wayne fajkus
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The plan is to use the (happy) cows to improve the soil, and to be self sufficient as possible.

This can contradict itself. Happy cows means not removing trees to create a full pasture. Having a pond to wade into. Browse and pasture available. It also means not having a single lonely animal. This leads to a minimum regardless of land size. Self sufficient means keeping a bull. With that criteria i may lose the ability to not bring inputs into the system (hay, feed cubes, etc). But as the fertility gets better, i can lessen the need. Im slowly getting where i can do selective irrigation.

We also have the ability to add more paddocks.  I'd guess the acreage is 12. It was 2 paddocks. Now its 3. I can break it into 5. I have a pen. Im adding a second pen for finishing (separate the slaughter cows from the bull). Maximum on hand will be 2 breeders, 1 bull, 2 1 year olds finishing, 2 calves.

My plan is simply feeding out 2 a year and sell them in 1/4's or halves. Its also worth mentioning that we want no outside sources of meat. We raise, catch,  or killl our meat, fish, and poultry.  Beef will be the largest percentage of those just from the amount one cow can bring. While it may not be grain free, they will be free of hormones and antibiotics. My father in law has a larger operation so replacement stock can be swapped from his operation. His new bull comes from me, mine comes from him.

The value of the cows beyond the sales is probably $3,000 a year in property tax savings. Im 6 years into a 7 year wait to get this credit. Its a county by county thing in texas. Speaking of texas, there is no snow and september rains bring a lot of growth. I use deer feedlot mixes, broadcast on the ground after it rains.  Oats, rye, wheat, radishes, clover.  There are expanding patches of bermuda. but mainly native (bluestem, etc)
 
Bennette Pool
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Hey Wayne; If I re-read correctly you are only hypothetically wondering
if your possible two (Future) calves are heifers how to protect them from your single bull?
I don't see it being that big of an issue from what I understand you have.
First off your over thinking a hypothetical issue.

But for the fun of it lets assume you have 2 calves that are heifers

Idea 1.)You mention you could rotate bulls with your father in-law.
Perhaps you could also swap out heifers.

Idea 2.) Unsure on your Charolais but most likely the earliest the calves cant breed isn't until around 7 to 12 months or even later.
You mentioned you had a finishing pen.
And you mentioned you could make more paddocks.
I assume finishing pens are smaller so be sure and bull proof them.
Possibly build 2 finishing pens.
Assume finishing pens will hold for 1 to 3 months.
So maturing age and finishing pens takes care of 1 to 1 1/2 yrs. of your two year problem
So in between of that leaves 6 to 8 months of any concern.

You said a couple of your paddocks where bull proofed.
Well then that's the time to use them.

Then build more paddocks, the more the better even if not just for the time for pastures to regrow.
Keep the two calves together in 1 paddock and Bull and 2 cows in another,

And yes the electric fence will work.
Not knowing what type fencing you have but I keep 1 strand of barb wire higher then the rest of the fences
only on my neighbors side where my bull goes to the edges and corners closest to his cows for when he is thinking of going next door.
So put an extra strand on sides going into adjacent paddocks on your property.
He's not going to go out the back door to what he thinks ahead of him. he can only think straight ahead.

Also on my corrals or holding pins have 1 x 6 boards slightly above the reach of head, he seems to know he cant jump it and can lean on the fence to pull it down.

Idea 3.) You said you had Charolais and working toward tax break. Each State is different on requirements for tax advantages.
But why have you chosen Charolais?
You don't sound like your into it for cattle sales and profits but more for tax break and self sufficiency.

If that's so then Again let me tell you about low-line cattle.
You can carry more cows per acre, giving your bull
a larger herd to keep him busy.

You still have quality meat to eat and or sale.
The extra number in cows would equal out on the weight and or lbs per meat of the larger Charolais and could also exceed your current amount.

Depending on your pasture and how much work you want to put into it but you could easily double your heard 1 bull and 5 cows with not much extra work.

If you manage your pastures and add in paddocks you could carry even more.
You can carry 3 on 1 1/2 acres if you paddock off and maintain good pastures thru weekly rotation.

Plus I would also assume the temperament  would be better relieving some pressure of the bull issue and fencing problems.

Don't know if I've gotten off track of your ideas and issues or not. But hopefully this helps.

 
wayne fajkus
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Yesterday was the day to separate them. The oldest calf is 9 months and the bull was after her. I thought i had til december so i wasnt ready.

I separated the calves into the corral overnight. Well, it wasnt the bull, but the 2 mommas that went thru a fence to get closer. Today i fixed that fencing, and added cattle panels over the 5 strand barbed wire that i am calling the feedlot. I got the calves moved over just now.

Wow, they are mooing.  Momma and calves. They are probably 200 yards apart at closest and no visual site to each other. I hope the neighbors understand the situation.

Ill answer your other questions later. Exhausted...but i got the cows i got because FIL gave them to me, and it allows an easy exchange between the herds for replacements.
 
wayne fajkus
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There is zebu cattle in my area. We thought about it, but didn't go with them.

I have what i have and we have culled the herd to get what we have. We weren't in a hurry so we started with weened bull and cow, plus 2 more older cows. The bull is poled which was a big deal as dehorning is nasty stuff. Horns are  bred out. The bull likes to be scratched on the head, but won't come to me to get scratched . He doesn't force it, but likes it when it happens. Same with the cow we will milk. We culled out another cow that was pushy so that this one is now dominant. This allows me to draw her away to milk her. The other one prevented that.

Swapping heiffers- not seeing an advantage. The bull will go after either.

Ive got the logistics worked out. I just never understood how salitan and gabe brown could use 1 wire to extensive rotational graze. It turns out(from what i understand)that they are not going full circle- birth to slaughter. This definately adds some extra kinks into a design. I want to go full circle. Self sufficient homesteading goes full circle to be sustainable. If you think you can handle 10 cows on your property then that 10 becomes 19, oh crap.

So i have bare minumum for happy cows. Noone is alone.  I'll need inputs (hay) to keep this minimum. As time goes by my soil gets better and better so that at some point the inputs go away or are minimized.

Im happy with where i am at. An understanding about how to go forward.
 
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Daily rotation is better with 28-45 days between revisits.
You can have 4 or 5 real paddocks with a movable electric wire to sub-divide it.

My recommendation would be to move them to a new paddock in the morning and drop off supplemental hay in the afternoon.
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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