Monday 31 October, 2011
Because I am a bit of a control freak (possibly with a hint of OCD), I like to rotate the grazing on the first of the month. I keep a spreadsheet by month and grazing group, and mark up who was grazing where and when - so moving stock monthly makes that easier. It's also my understanding that, to reduce the worm burden, grass needs to be rested for about three weeks.
So for November, the ewes and tup are in Far Ditch Field (field names are also a "thing" of mine ). Leo went out on Saturday 29th October - which is close enough to 1st November - and has served two ewes. Seven to go. They will stay in that field until Leo comes out.
Dickie and the four ewe lambs are in Sheepfold. The ponies have been grazing there all summer and it's like a bowling green. Although we had it limed and potassium spread this spring, we lift droppings every day so I am concerned that we're stripping nutrients, so the ewe lambs will be there until the end of December and will be joined by the ewes once tupping is over. If there's no grass, I'll feed some hay and the sheep will nicely fertilise the grass.
The heifers, the bullock and the five tup lambs are in Home Field for this month. The tup lambs go away on 14th November, so I'm hoping the grass will do the cattle until the end of the month. I am minded to house the cattle during January and February for four reasons - one, it will allow me to get some weight off Breeze and Blizzard, two, I'll get a chance to handle Henry, three, it will give the fields a rest and four, it will give me some good strawy manure for the garden.
The ponies are strip grazing Near Ditch Field. They are having two two-hour sessions on the grass - 7am-9am and 3pm-5pm. There's a lot of long grass, so I'm hoping that by grazing them tightly and lifting droppings daily, they'll tidy it up. When not on the grass, they are on their "paddock paradise" track and the hard standing in the Triangle.
We've had a bit of rain over the last few days and nights - not constant but some heavy showers. I was pleased to find, when I was walking the fields this morning, that the drains are working and the ground is pretty dry. Of course, time will tell but hopefully we'll see an improvement in the grass next year.