Gabe Hatfield

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since Dec 03, 2012
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Recent posts by Gabe Hatfield

Philip, before I can make any recommendations, I need to know a few things. How much land do you have and how many cattle do you think you can run? Will this be a full time income eventually? What's your marketing plan?
6 years ago
We use both the carrot and the stick. One milker responds very well to being slapped when she misbehaves, others have just fallen apart and gotten worse with the same treatment. Without exception, they have all responded differently... they're not clones.

John Rains wrote:So currently we have someone mowing it for hay for their animals, so the mowing is maintaining its current ecology.



John, while you may like the way that it looks and the fact that the haying stops succession from taking place, I'd recommend not making hay any longer. Taking hay off is removing the fertility that you're trying to accumulate. Run a marginal reaction test and you'll probably find that leaving the perennials in place will be more efficient than replacing them with annuals. I have a 3 acre section that I'm planning to garden in the future, so I'm in much the same position as you. They've been making hay from this paddock for years now and there's no topsoil left! The only grass in any quantity is Broom Sedge, which shouldn't be too hard to get rid of with the use of mob grazing. I'll be using the cattle to tromp in the seed that I spread, then harvest the resulting growth and spreading the fertilizer for me! So if I get this right, it won't be a money sink, it should at the very least pay for itself.

If you don't have animals and aren't willing/able to get them, do you have neighbors who do? Once you have fencing in place they'd love to let their animals graze your field at no cost to them. There's always a way (but maybe not always practical for everyone) to use animals to replace the machines we've come to rely on.

If you can't/won't get animals and fix the fencing, just bush hog it on a regular basis and I think you'll be surprised at how it improves.
6 years ago

Greta Fields wrote:Somebody suggested that the tractor tires mimic the feet of bison, pressing the fluffy Indian grass seeds onto the mud.
It shocked me.
Deer , sure enough, had their fawns down in this heavy grass cover, and that made me understand why huinters keep pushing for native grass to be planted.
My understanding is, cattle hooves and bison hooves work differently upon the sods. For the life of me, I can't understand why the ranchers don't raise bison instead of cattle though. It seems like bison are made for America, but not sure about cattle.



Cattle hooves will press seed into the soil, they're far more similar to bison hooves than tractor tires. No tractor costs needed! I can't see why cattle hooves would act much differently than bison's hooves on the soil. They weigh less, but it really doesn't take much so the difference shouldn't matter.

Bison are dangerous and they cannot be managed in the same manner as cattle.
6 years ago