Hello, all! I am looking into starting a cattle business in which I lease land, buy one year old calfs in spring, MOB graze them, and sell them in fall; a la Joel Salatin. My question is what do you do for shelter for those stormy days and blazing sun, if the pasture doesn't have standing trees (I am in the central GA region)? Would a moveable shelter be needed and/or worth the time, energy, and money? Hoping to get advice from some who are actually practicing the technique. Thank you all in advance.
Something you may consider is to purchase your calves from an operation that leaves their cattle out in the extreme elements. Beef cows are pretty hardy animals. To accentuate this hardiness, find a producer that has a breed predisposed to your local climate and buy out of a herd that flourishes in your environment and climate. Sure, extreme conditions are a concern and you do need shade. But, why not start with animals that are better suited for those conditions to begin with?
Also, if you are mob grazing good quality forage, I believe many cattlemen have found that the animals are getting some water from the plants they are eating. A well hydrated cow can better withstand hot conditions.
I’m not saying that the cows don’t need shade during the heat of the day. I’m just staying that you can give yourself a leg up on these issues with heat-tolerant breeds and locally conditioned animals. You may look for cattle operation in your county or surrounding counties that are running any of the Brahman cross breeds, such as Brangus or Santa Gertrudis. I offer this website about the benefits of Brahman breed https://www.brahman.org/about/benefits-of-brahman/
Depending on the number of cattle you’re talking about running, you could build a shade canopy (four posts and some old barn tin) on skids and tow it to the paddocks that don’t have good shade. Yeah, this is an expense and you’re burning fuel for a tractor, but it’s one idea if you have a small herd.