Monday, May 2, 2011

Grass growing too fast?

The grass is getting deep in the area where
the goats wintered. This pasture has been idle for
just a few weeks and already is ready for grazing.
Pasture rotation plays a major role in our parasite control program. We try to keep goats off of a pasture as long as possible to break the life cycle of the haemonchus contortus, or barberpole worm, our worst parasite when it comes to raising goats.

On poor pasture or browse, I like to keep the goats off a pasture for at least 60 days. This year, however, with all the rain we have received, the grass is growing incredibly fast and will be well past its tenderest and most nutritional stage long before the parasite problem is solved.

The pasture pictured above has had the goats off for just over two weeks and look how the grass has grown -- nearly a foot deep in some places. It would be ideal to have a herd of cows to come in and eat down the grass while it is so lush. But I don't have any cows at the moment.

The pasture where the goats are now grazing is also lush with white clover and ryegrass. They are getting fast and making milk like crazy. Even the 2-month-old kids spend a lot of the day grazing. So, for now, they are staying where they're at.

The grass may not be the best when the goats finally rotate back around to this pasture, but there will be plenty of it left standing. And hopefully the worm population will be reduced.

I placed my Goat Rancher cap on the ground
to try and give an idea of how deep the grass is.

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