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Rotational grazing ?

Posted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:12 pm
by tncattle
My first time doing this. We got 40 heifers in Saturday avg. around 800-850 lbs. they were AI'D May 15 and then with 3 bulls until June 9. They're now with our bull. Anyway, our grass is doing great with all the rain and no cattle on it for almost 7 weeks. Clover, Bermuda, Fescue and others. We have 4 pastures all around 12-17 cres each. I only have the ability to split those 4 and make 8. The 40 heifers/bull have been on the first one since Saturday and there's still a lot of grass left to eat. How often should I move them? What am I looking for in the grass that's been grazed to signal rotating them? I also was thinking I should drag each paddock after moving them.

Re: Rotational grazing ?

Posted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:41 pm
by RanchMan90
tncattle wrote:My first time doing this. We got 40 heifers in Saturday avg. around 800-850 lbs. they were AI'D May 15 and then with 3 bulls until June 9. They're now with our bull. Anyway, our grass is doing great with all the rain and no cattle on it for almost 7 weeks. Clover, Bermuda, Fescue and others. We have 4 pastures all around 12-17 cres each. I only have the ability to split those 4 and make 8. The 40 heifers/bull have been on the first one since Saturday and there's still a lot of grass left to eat. How often should I move them? What am I looking for in the grass that's been grazed to signal rotating them? I also was thinking I should drag each paddock after moving them.

Don't let the grass get below 6-8 inches to keep the roots strong and keep a bit of a stockpile for dry times and going into winter. That's a pretty high stocking rate. Good luck :D

Re: Rotational grazing ?

Posted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:59 pm
by tncattle
RanchMan90 wrote:
tncattle wrote:My first time doing this. We got 40 heifers in Saturday avg. around 800-850 lbs. they were AI'D May 15 and then with 3 bulls until June 9. They're now with our bull. Anyway, our grass is doing great with all the rain and no cattle on it for almost 7 weeks. Clover, Bermuda, Fescue and others. We have 4 pastures all around 12-17 cres each. I only have the ability to split those 4 and make 8. The 40 heifers/bull have been on the first one since Saturday and there's still a lot of grass left to eat. How often should I move them? What am I looking for in the grass that's been grazed to signal rotating them? I also was thinking I should drag each paddock after moving them.

Don't let the grass get below 6-8 inches to keep the roots strong and keep a bit of a stockpile for dry times and going into winter. That's a pretty high stocking rate. Good luck!

It's all river bottom and I seriously mean the grass is so thick/dense. Last summer we ran 30 mature cows no problem, they avg. 1600 lbs each.

Re: Rotational grazing ?

Posted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:02 pm
by RanchMan90
tncattle wrote:
RanchMan90 wrote:
tncattle wrote:My first time doing this. We got 40 heifers in Saturday avg. around 800-850 lbs. they were AI'D May 15 and then with 3 bulls until June 9. They're now with our bull. Anyway, our grass is doing great with all the rain and no cattle on it for almost 7 weeks. Clover, Bermuda, Fescue and others. We have 4 pastures all around 12-17 cres each. I only have the ability to split those 4 and make 8. The 40 heifers/bull have been on the first one since Saturday and there's still a lot of grass left to eat. How often should I move them? What am I looking for in the grass that's been grazed to signal rotating them? I also was thinking I should drag each paddock after moving them.

Don't let the grass get below 6-8 inches to keep the roots strong and keep a bit of a stockpile for dry times and going into winter. That's a pretty high stocking rate. Good luck!

It's all river bottom and I seriously mean the grass is so thick/dense. Last summer we ran 30 mature cows no problem, they avg. 1600 lbs each.

Good deal. Cutting it into 8 pastures will give you more controlled grazing if you have the time and water. Don't rotate by the calendar, but by pasture height.

Re: Rotational grazing ?

Posted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:23 pm
by tncattle
RanchMan90 wrote:
tncattle wrote:
RanchMan90 wrote:Don't let the grass get below 6-8 inches to keep the roots strong and keep a bit of a stockpile for dry times and going into winter. That's a pretty high stocking rate. Good luck!

It's all river bottom and I seriously mean the grass is so thick/dense. Last summer we ran 30 mature cows no problem, they avg. 1600 lbs each.

Good deal. Cutting it into 8 pastures will give you more controlled grazing if you have the time and water. Don't rotate by the calendar, but by pasture height.

They trample quite a bit down, I guess that will come back up also? Is dragging the fresh manure piles after I move them beneficial?

Re: Rotational grazing ?

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:00 am
by RanchMan90
More smaller pastures= less time in each pasture= less trampling

Re: Rotational grazing ?

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:00 am
by J&D Cattle
Let the cows take half the grass and leave half is what they preach around here. I do drag my pastures but only once a year coming out of winter.

Re: Rotational grazing ?

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:05 am
by Jeanne - Simme Valley
If you have the time to drag them, yes that is helpful. I would give them less area. Also, if it is heading out, it would be best if you mowed it after they glean off what they want. There can be a lot of refusal if they have a large area that they tromp down. I go by "color" of the field. When it's looking pale, I move them. You can see if there is edible food left. You do not go by "time".

Re: Rotational grazing ?

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:26 am
by dun
We when kept up with it we moved them every 3 for days. Paddocks were sized to the leave half take half school of thought.

Re: Rotational grazing ?

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:35 pm
by tncattle
[quote="dun"]We when kept up with it we moved them every 3 for days. Paddocks were sized to the leave half take half school of thought.[/quote
Did you drag the pastures right after

Re: Rotational grazing ?

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:12 pm
by dun
Never have drug a pasture

Re: Rotational grazing ?

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:53 pm
by Jeanne - Simme Valley
I never have drug a pasture either. Just saying it's good to do.

Re: Rotational grazing ?

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:02 pm
by wbvs58
RanchMan90 wrote:
tncattle wrote:My first time doing this. We got 40 heifers in Saturday avg. around 800-850 lbs. they were AI'D May 15 and then with 3 bulls until June 9. They're now with our bull. Anyway, our grass is doing great with all the rain and no cattle on it for almost 7 weeks. Clover, Bermuda, Fescue and others. We have 4 pastures all around 12-17 cres each. I only have the ability to split those 4 and make 8. The 40 heifers/bull have been on the first one since Saturday and there's still a lot of grass left to eat. How often should I move them? What am I looking for in the grass that's been grazed to signal rotating them? I also was thinking I should drag each paddock after moving them.

Don't let the grass get below 6-8 inches to keep the roots strong and keep a bit of a stockpile for dry times and going into winter. That's a pretty high stocking rate. Good luck :D


I tell mine not to eat it below 6-8" but they don't seem to take any notice, they will eat it short and leave some areas long.

Ken

Re: Rotational grazing ?

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:11 pm
by Jeanne - Simme Valley
Ken, I agree. All the "specialists" (and I'm not picking on you RM90) give you a height to go by - like you said, my cows don't read the books, they eat what they like pretty short & then you always have some refusal areas. That's why I said I go by the color of the field. When it has lost that nice green look, I don't usually have to go out & walk thru it, I know it's ready. I have never gotten down & "measured" what was left. Do you only measure what they "love" to eat, or do you get an average???? I've only been doing this for 30 years, so what do I know. I just do what works for me. You just have to get a feel for when to move them. I do try to only give them enough to last them 2-3 days early spring/summer then 3-5 days.
The smaller the area you give them, the more likely they will clean up refusal like weeds or around old manure piles. They eat it so quickly, they don't get time to be picky.

Re: Rotational grazing ?

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:21 pm
by RanchMan90
wbvs58 wrote:
RanchMan90 wrote:
tncattle wrote:My first time doing this. We got 40 heifers in Saturday avg. around 800-850 lbs. they were AI'D May 15 and then with 3 bulls until June 9. They're now with our bull. Anyway, our grass is doing great with all the rain and no cattle on it for almost 7 weeks. Clover, Bermuda, Fescue and others. We have 4 pastures all around 12-17 cres each. I only have the ability to split those 4 and make 8. The 40 heifers/bull have been on the first one since Saturday and there's still a lot of grass left to eat. How often should I move them? What am I looking for in the grass that's been grazed to signal rotating them? I also was thinking I should drag each paddock after moving them.

Don't let the grass get below 6-8 inches to keep the roots strong and keep a bit of a stockpile for dry times and going into winter. That's a pretty high stocking rate. Good luck :D


I tell mine not to eat it below 6-8" but they don't seem to take any notice, they will eat it short and leave some areas long.

Ken

Lol y'all do some serious rotational grazing down there don't you?