Welcome to Painted Hand Farm

Painted Hand Farm is a 20 acre Civil War era farm located in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. We raise meat goats, veal calves, turkeys and organic vegetables using humane and sustainable agricultural practices.

Search This Blog

Monday, September 10, 2007

Rotation Grazing = Moving Critters

Rotational grazing means just that...moving animals from one area to another. This mimics nature as animals move from one area to another as they would in their natural environment if we had no fences. For us, it was also a necessary step since the turkeys had figured out that if they all rush the electric netting at once, they can knock it down and stampede toward the person carrying the white bucket filled with food. Inevitably, one would get stuck in the netting and spasmodically jerk to the pulses of the electric fence until I could get to the jumper cable to turn off the juice. Being surrounded by a mob of nearly 40 turkeys didn't make the whole fiasco any faster. So on Sunday, we juggled critters in the name of rotational grazing and of practicality.
The first step was to move the three bull calves from their own pasture to the "big cow" pasture with Emma and the two steers. They're big enough to fend for themselves and I don't want them chowing on my concentrated goat food. The goats went into the pasture by the road. Now El Jefe, the Great Pyrenees will have even more subjects to guard. That pasture is usually the horse's day pasture, too.
Next, came the fun part...herding turkeys. I figured they'd be pretty easy to move since it was around noon and I hadn't fed or watered them yet. They'd follow anyone with a bucket. For the most part, they did, but a few stragglers happened on to a patch of something tasty, lagging behind. It took two tries to get all the birds into their new pasture previously occupied by the young bucks. Ralph followed behind making easy work of hauling their portable shelter up the hill. When all was done, the bull calves, young bucks and turkeys all had new digs to explore and stretch their legs as each got a bigger area in which to roam.
The turkeys found their new watering station as their new neighbors--Jessica's show projects--look on.

No comments:

Post a Comment