AGHs not eating grass

Tjcib

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So my 4 AGHs are young (18 weeks)... They are training to electric netting and we rotate them about once per week.

Oddly, when we first got them (8 weeks) they went straight for the grass (Fescue mostly) tufts and nibbled them right down. But now, I think they have discovered how awesome clover is and they don't even touch grass. If we leave them too long in once place, they will start to root, yet there will still be clumps of grass everywhere around their rooting.

Could the grass be too tall? It's about as tall as them, but in clumps. They aren't "walking through grass" that tall. Their paddock is 90% clover and other weeds

It is a little strange to me since guinea hogs are supposed to be the grass eaters, yet that is the only thing they leave standing in my field.

Thoughts?
 

Baymule

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Clover is candy. Fescue is broccoli, to put it in people (children) terms. LOL

Also, different grasses and forbs have different nutritional levels at different stages of growth. Not to mention different tastes.

Will the fescue grow all summer or burn off when summer gets hot? If it will die back soon due to summer heat, let the clumps go to seed, when fairly dry, mow. If the fescue will grow all summer, mow it back now.

Animals like fresh new tender growth. That big tall clump looks good to you, but you aren’t eating it. It’s old and tough to the pigs.
So they are feasting on the yummy tender clover and ignoring the tough stringy fescue.

Make sense?
 

Tjcib

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Clover is candy. Fescue is broccoli, to put it in people (children) terms. LOL

Also, different grasses and forbs have different nutritional levels at different stages of growth. Not to mention different tastes.

Will the fescue grow all summer or burn off when summer gets hot? If it will die back soon due to summer heat, let the clumps go to seed, when fairly dry, mow. If the fescue will grow all summer, mow it back now.

Animals like fresh new tender growth. That big tall clump looks good to you, but you aren’t eating it. It’s old and tough to the pigs.
So they are feasting on the yummy tender clover and ignoring the tough stringy fescue.

Make sense?
Great advice, thanks.

We will be rotating them in a few days, so I went ahead and mowed the area where they will be going. That gives it about 5 days of regrown when the piggies get in there.

Regarding the clover, when we moved in we had some draining work done, and the landscaper said, "I can help you get rid of this clover and crabgrass." I told him, "it might not look pretty to you, but the animals love it. I hope it multiplies."

Thanks again!
 

Tjcib

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It is amazing. Those pigs avoided every single blade of bermuda grass, and devoured every single leaf of clover. Can you tell where the electric fence was run? LOL

20220506_153048.jpg
 

Tjcib

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So the Hogs have all but made clover extinct on our pasture. They are starting to take to Bermuda a little more, but certainly have their stages of growth when they like it more. Still figuring out that timing. Bermuda is great, though, because it recovers like crazy and fills in holes and bare spots soo well.

Still also trying to figure out the right amount of pasture to give my 4 hogs at a time. We are trying to keep their shelter and water (which is inevitably their wallow) in the same place and revolve the pasture around it just to minimize damage.

But I've read so much about using small spaces and moving them frequently. But I haven't figure out what the ground should "look like" when it is time to move them. Part of that I blame on the Bermuda because it recovers so well. I can over-graze to what seems to be almost a moonscape in 2 weeks later it looks like a golf course...
 

Alaskan

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But I've read so much about using small spaces and moving them frequently. But I haven't figure out what the ground should "look like" when it is time to move them.
That is because how short you can graze it depends on the individual plant.

So... as you have seen, Bermuda can be grazed all of the way down and still recover. However.... if you do that too often or too quickly the roots will suffer some.

What you have to decide is what plants do you want to have growing on your little pasture?

Then, research those plants, and time rotation to the most delicate of your desired plants.
 

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