Rotational Grazing, Free Range, Heritage Breeds
Grazing, Pasture and Nutrient Management Practices
We rotationally graze all our animals, with chickens following most larger animals (sheep and pig). We keep all our animals on farm until processing with a regular pasture/grain diet.
We rotate our sheep when pasture is just 3 inches, we mow what they don’t eat, keeping it from going to seed.
We try to rotate our pigs before their rooting creates big holes in spring, fall and winter. In summer the ground is harder and they don’t make deep holes, except for a nice wallow. Our Broilers are moved through our pastures, leaving behind nice thick green swaths of grass after a little rain.
We do not use use any chemical management on our fields. We do not use subthereputic antibiotics. We de-worm our sheep with common wormers (ivermectin as an example), but we do not use wormers prior to slaughter.
In January – Feb we muck out our sheep areas and compost their droppings in a compost pile removed from their living area. All other animals are moved at a rate droppings can decompose where they land. Chicken coops/duck house are mucked and composted.
We are planting native hedgerows in many areas of the farm. We have a woodlot plan with NRCS to increase healthy stands of native trees and shrubs, thus improving wildlife habitat (both large and small)