Coasting Along

The lambs are still with the ewes and are growing at a steady rate. The lambs are robust, the ewes are recovering from the stress of raising lambs, the grass is not so lush, the climate is moderate, and everything seems settled again. The surrounding area is abuzz with crop harvesting but at this time of year, we get to coast along. There isn’t a lot of flock management, until we prepare to sell lambs. 

With fall approaching the grass is no longer growing, but is preparing for dormancy. The grass is drying and turning color and the leaves on the alfalfa plants are dry and dropping. There is a noticeable increase in the consumption of grass and it takes little time for the flock to clean up in each paddock.

Back in the early summer we skipped grazing one paddock, knowing we wouldn’t need it at the time, and deciding to stockpile it for use at a later date. Because it was never grazed, the grass is past mature. The areas that were grazed had to regrow, therefore there is younger plant material present (the basic reason for rotationally grazing).

The flock was moved and is grazing this stockpiled paddock now and they do not seem content with the mature plants. I imagine the paddocks with less mature regrowth, even going into dormancy, are more appealing. For next time, it might be a better choice to graze the stockpiled forage a little later, perhaps in early winter, when the flock will be glad to have some dry greens and there is less attraction to the greener grass on the other side of the fence.  

Our millet was also swathed this week and it is satisfying to look at it and know that it is ready and waiting for swath grazing in the winter. As we coast along I am appreciating daily time with the stock dogs, working Cajun and Gibson, and BJ as she feels ready for it. I have started the nightly routine of tucking the flock together before dark so Cajun also accompanies me most nights and is doing a superb job working the pasture.

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