Cows out on pasture!

Cows on pasture this week!

Or at least that is the plan.

The cows and we are anxiously waiting for our first day of pasture. The grasses are growing and green and are so close to reaching the height we want. BUT (there is always a but in the first week in May), it is supposed to snow an inch (today) Monday. Honestly, sometimes I think we just need to pack up the dairy cows and move to New Zealand, near the beach.

Being certified USDA Organic, the rules require us to have our cows grazing at least 120 days. If we get the cows out on the grass by May 15th and they stay out there until September 15th, we have reached the minimum days.  Most years, we are grazing into October. Last year it was November!!

cows on pasture via zweberfarms.com

Cows on pasture November 5, 2016

It isn’t as easy as just opening the gate. Before our cows are put on pasture, we need to make sure the grasses are growing back and have reached a height (which translates into root structure) that won’t be damaged by cow hooves and eating. We inter-seed many of our pastures with a no-till drill once the snow is gone. This is similar to overseeding your lawn to make it thicker. This ensures that our pastures have a healthy mix of plants for the cows to eat. I talk more about what our grass-fed cattle eat in this past post:

Raising Grass Fed Dairy and Beef

Look how little my babies were! This video is from 2010. We still do inter-seeding with the same equipment.

We also need to inspect and repair our fences. Winter can be hard on fences. Heavy snow, falling tree branches and more, can loosen or break wires. Our fences are electrified to keep the cows in. If there is a gap in the fence, the electricity cannot travel to where it is needed.

Right now we are thinking the cows will go out on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. Watch our Facebook page for up-to-date details. I will also be doing a Facebook LIVE of the event.

“See” you then!

 

~Emily

 

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