We split our herd into 4 groups: 1 production cows and bulls, 2 weaned calves, 3 yearlings and 4 animals for our beef markets. Each group is rotated through different pastures and fed in the winter in separate pastures.
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Grazing, Pasture and Nutrient Management Practices
What grass, weeds and brush most cattle will turn up their noses to, Scottish Highland Cattle eat and thrive on. So we use our cattle for pasture and timberland improvement. The pastures are fertilized either with manure or chemical fertilizers recommended after soil samples are taken. We thin the trees on our timberland to open up the canopy, We rely on dormant indigenous grass seed rather than planting to generate pasture under the thinned tree canopy. Our experience is that the indigenous grass browns out later and greens up sooner than commercially propagated grasses. We pay close attention to the length of grass in each pasture and rotate our animals out before they eat the grass too short. We also allow the grass and brush in some fields to get tall for use after the heat and dry weather settle into the Willamette Valley. Highland cattle keep gaining weight even on dry pasture.
As evidenced by the presence of deer, birds, coyotes, cougar and bear, we manage our lands to benefit wildlife as well as our Highland Cattle.