Two Saturday's ago was the first day for this group in the paddock nearest the barn. If you look closely you will see the white posts from the electric fences that we use to divide the paddocks into even smaller grazing areas.Every time we move the sheds on sleds, I try to place them where they can stay for two weeks, and to a place that I can see them from the house. Then I make as small a section of the paddock as I can, for the goats to move into, using the electric net fences. They are connected to the high tensile fence with a clip. This is the way I do rotational grazing, and it works pretty well for giving the goats fresh pasture everyday. I don't move the goats to a new paddock daily. I just move enough of the netting fence so that the herd has enough new vegetation to keep them busy for a day. Then the next day I do it again. You can see the line of new food from where the fence was moved a few more feet, each day, in each of the photos. Each day the goats RUN to see the newest area I've opened for them. They all have their favorite food they go for on their first browse around. Then they come back and look again. Its like a buffet where you eat dessert first, and then end up with the boring stuff at the end, IF you are still hungry. We try to give them enough that they are happy, and leave plenty behind to start the next set of growth.These last pictures were taken two Thursdays after we started, and the electric netting fence was removed on Friday. The paddock was neatly trimmed, but with plenty of growth to continue growing for a future turn in a couple of months from now. And of course, the fields have been pretty evenly manured by the goats because of the rotational method we use, so that also keeps things growing.The goats are getting very little grain or hay in the barn. The nursing goats are getting hay and grain rations, but as the kids approach weaning, the nannies are also being weaned from this feed. As we hit the summer months, we will depend on good rotation and growth to keep the goats fat and happy!
Quilting Hearts and Echoes with Margaret Leuwen
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