by Jeff Volkert
Rotational Grazing of Boer Goats in Northeastern Indiana
This is an update from a blog article on May 13, 2015. We have continually visited with this producer, listening to his ideas and sharing in his grazing successes and challenges. Since we last wrote, his herd size has nearly doubled to over 400 head.
They have added a few more acres of pasture, but have intensified their management. Their most recent seedings are Enduro 427 LHR Alfalfa, Palaton Reed Canarygrass, and Profit Orchardgrass. The leafhopper resistance of the alfalfa works very well for this producer as it is providing another “manager” in forage quality.
In the spring while “kidding,” they are using a 3 + 1 paddock rotation. This means they are turning the goats and kids into the new paddock for 3 days while allowing access to the last paddock 1 final day for any new kids and moms that may be slow in adapting to the move. The picture below shows day 1 in a paddock.
This 3 + 1 rotation not only allows for better goat and kid health but is also very beneficial to the health and longevity of their pastures. The 2 photos below show 1 day off (left) and 3 days off (right) of grazing. Getting 3+ days of goat “fertilizer” plus not having the paddock grazed too close to the crown allows for rapid regrowth for the next rotation. This management can provide a couple of things - the ability to make some hay for winter feeding and the opportunity to extend the life of the pasture, which will lessen the need to renovate or replace.
CISCO Seeds is excited to be able to share stories like this. If you would like to know more, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We’d like to help you achieve happy, healthy animals with top quality forage.