Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Paddock arrangement advise please.  (Read 2309 times)

WidowTwanky

  • Joined Jun 2013
Paddock arrangement advise please.
« on: June 24, 2013, 10:39:55 pm »
Hi Guys

This has finally dragged me out of lurking.

I am in the lovely position of just having agreed a 3 year lease on 6 ac of grazing.

Currently it is divided into 2 x 3 ac paddocks, with a permanent driveway running up the middle of the two paddocks. We plan to graze one and grow hay on the other. This year we will have hay from both sides :)
For the rest of this exercise I am only talking about one side of the 6ac, as I can't afford to fence both sides at once.
It has never been grazed by sheep (little happy dance) and we are fencing it. So obviously the fencers will do the perimeter with a cut into the field to allow the car to pull in and open the gate with out blocking up the busy single track road.
We currently have 10 ewes and 3 rams, although numbers may well increase by 4 or 5 now. The field is wider at the bottom than the top. We plan to divide the field at the narrower top end into just over an ac for the boys. There will be pedestrian gate access to the drive and a gate into the bigger portion of the field. A friend of mine is going to come in install a water flow meter to the sub meter that is already in the field and lay water on to both ends of the field.
We plan to fence off the bottom corner of the new lower paddock where the gate access to the main road is, with the stock fencing to allow space for the car, trailer and shed. We will also put a large gate into this field to allow for tractor access, should it ever be needed in the future.
Can any one share their thoughts or suggestions of things we might want to do differently, or that you wished you had done and didn't, or did do and wished you hadn't?!
I need to understand rotational grazing in more depth - my vet told me that you can leave land too long and the worm burden can increase if a paddock is left too long with no grazing - is this really true?
We have electric fencing we can use if we want to sub divide the larger paddock at any time. We have hurdles we use to make holding pens in the corners. We tend to leave those up and feed a handful of nuts in there every day, makes treatments easy if needed, so we will recreate that in the new paddocks.
The only time I foresee a potential problem is at tupping time. We have two different breeds and will need a few more field divisions than I have mentioned.
Any advise would be greatly welcomed, thanks

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Paddock arrangement advise please.
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2013, 10:54:58 pm »
Just a thought, at tupping time which is generally after hay has been cut, could you run sheep on both sides and throughout the winter, then shut 1 side off from Feb/March onwards and let it go for hay? That way you would probably have enough grass and your summer grazing side might recover a bit during the winter.

WidowTwanky

  • Joined Jun 2013
Re: Paddock arrangement advise please.
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2013, 11:35:55 pm »
Sounds like good advice and long term yes we will do this. Although we tend to put our ram in in Dec, as we don't live on site and can't bring our girls in to lamb, but wait for them to lamb in the field and then bring them into a field shelter (no electric on site) it is better for us to lamb during the longer days. We grow fiber not meat so timings are no so important to us.

But for now we are only fencing the one side. I am hesitant to spend the money on fencing both sides until I have done at least 6 months to a year with the new landlord. We have agreed financial compensation for the fencing if we leave before the end of the 3 year lease regardless of who ends the agreement.
It is a slightly sensitive site as it is the driveway to his house that runs up between the two paddocks. I am very aware that whatever we do he will have to look at every day when he leaves the house! He can't see the paddocks from the house thou.  Maybe because this is due to the fact that where I currently rent the rules are ridiculously strict.  It felt like a breath of fresh air when the new landlord just said "no problem' to any and all of my suggestions for the use/division of his land.

Should I be thinking about placement of water troughs, with occasional field division taking into account? Or just accept the fact that I will be filling up buckets for a few weeks? Do you wish you had gateways in places you haven't etc.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Paddock arrangement advise please.
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2013, 09:01:33 am »
Using electric fencing might be an option for subdivision. Maybe with solar panels. I'm not an electric fence expert - in fact I'm a real dullard about it but other folk seem to get it to work  ;D

No idea where your vet is coming from on the grazing / worms. Never heard anything like that before. Worms can't exist with out a host and most worms are species specific - so no host, then decline in worm numbers.

To manage worms, we try to give out paddocks a three week rest. We have about ten acres of grass divided into six paddocks, five of which are in the "normal" rotation although we have cows too, so it's cows, followed by sheep then a rest for three weeks before the cows go back in.


 

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