Tag Archives: bull calves weaned

Grazing Winter Stockpile

My plan was to muster in the cattle, sort off the randy bull calves (they are about 8 months old now) to wean. Also, my husband has a few cows i’m grazing for him and one of them i noticed had been in heat a couple times, so took her out (she is without calf), and earlier in the year, I’d purchased some large frame heifers to breed then resell.

Normally, the freshly weaned calves would be fence lined weaned for about three days but with only 7 weaned, i didn’t want to mess with setting up feed bunks and feeding so far from our house. I don’t feed grain, but do like to get them started on high protein alfalfa pellets (or better, quality alfalfa hay) since stockpiled forages or hay could be too low in quality for young growing animals.

The remaining cows, calves, and first calf heifers began winter grazing on December 18. There is a bit leftover from the growing season they could grub around on, and as they winter graze, i might let them back to those paddocks if it is convenient, but for now they will move forward on the grazing plan. It is also important that they graze the particular paddocks they are on now because I’ve hired a fence crew to come in and replace a quarter mile of perimeter fence between my neighbor and me. If the cows graze down the grass, then it won’t be destroyed as the contractors move equipment in and, the shorter grass will allow the soil to freeze harder for easier access as well.

In the meantime, here are some snapshots.

Total grazing allows me to manage my livestock’s forage intake through multiple moves, though often i end up with moving only once a day. However, mostly I have enough time to move them 2-3 times. It depends on the weather and the time i have available to spend away from home. Step in postshttps://powerflexfence.com/collections/portable-fencing/products/obtp-white-obrien-tredaline-post-white-temporarily-on-back-order and polybraid electric fence make this a mostly easy task.
Total grazing encourages the cows to eat all the forage and not be participating in selective grazing – i’m effectively teaching them to clean their plates. By removing less desirable forage species along with the ‘ice cream’ more ‘ice cream’ can grow. Before allowing the cows to move forward, I encourage them to get up and do their evacuations on the grazed areas so they don’t foul the new break. Total grazing is not just forcing cows to eat everything, it is a plan to keep cows, plants, soil, water, and wallets fat and healthy. This photo illustrates a very nice nutrient distribution.
A cow manure pat indicating good digestion and a properly balanced diet.