Updated: Feb 10, 2020
Grass. Just grass. Grass is what we feed our ruminants. When we bought our property, the pasture was neglected, over grown, and full of broom straw. We immediately set about to improve the pasture.
Our first major chore was exterior fencing. There was some already in place, but many of the posts were rotten. We replaced it with some of the best welded wire you can buy. We highly recommend Kencove fencing.
We rotate the animals every day to a new paddock. We do not bring in commercial fertilizers or seed our pasture. Our goal is sustainability and we are trying to improve the soil and thereby improve the grass. We do feed Fertrel Grazer minerals that both the cows and sheep can eat and purchase it from https://www.reedyforkfarm.com. They deliver it to a drop site and we can go pick it up. (We have also used their organic feed for our chickens. It is wonderful!) The minerals from the cow poop are being deposited on the pasture.
We rotate multiple species on the pasture. Each species eats differently. Each parasite is species specific so they can eat the other animals’ parasite with no harm. That is part of our parasite control. We use Parasitic Wasps for fly control which are released monthly during fly season. We get these from Arbico organics and we realize this is not sustainable, but we will do this as long as we can. They will never keep up with the fly load, but it does help.
We keep the animals in a tight paddock so that they must eat or trample even the grass they do not like. We did have to give up on multi-flora rose and have goats that are traveling with the herd to eat it. So far, we have not had parasite issues with our goats. Maybe it is because the parasites die or are eaten by another species before we get the herd back around for a second bite of pasture.