Baymule

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I have spread dead hay over the bare ground at the barn to keep the choking dust down. We finally got rain several times and I have winter grass sprouting up. Last fall we spread dead hay and got a nice stand of rye grass.

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I have tiny green sprouts! Clover or weeds? LOL

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@Baymule , I wish you could watch vids! What these guys are doing is, instead of feeding hay in rings or keeping the bales intact, they are rolling them out and letting the stock eat them, sleep on them, trample them, foul them and they are keeping the animals in smaller space with the use of polybraid electric so they have to really work that hay, poop and pee in before they move on.

Now, initially it seems like a colossal waste, but you should see the prime pasture that comes up out of that in a few years!!! The way Mr. Judy breaks it down, the amount of fertilizer, seed, and machines one would have to pay for to create that level of pasture is so much more expensive than the hay one rolls out.

After some years of that, they no longer have to buy hay to feed in the winter...they just feed winter stockpiled graze! How cool is that?

I can just visualize that whole slope above your horses as green, lush pasture with huge diversity of species and your sheep and horses taking turns grazing through it. LOVELY.

That Sentry is such a beautiful dog!!! My next LGD I want to be a pure Anatolian and I want to keep him with the sheep full time from a pup so he's bonded to them instead of me.

I love what you are doing with waste wood, Bay! Look how fast it returns to the soil when you add manure...much better than burning it, I would say.

Since you can't watch vids, maybe you'd enjoy his blog and articles instead: http://greenpasturesfarm.net/blog/
 
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Baymule

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I use my wasted hay, it never goes to waste! At $65 a roll, i'm afraid I can't roll it out to let the horses poop all over it. My moving the round bale will just have to do! It lasts several weeks, rolled out flat, it might keep them happy a few days. In a cattle feeding situation, my ex in-laws fed round bales daily, and they rolled them out so the cattle could all get to the hay. If the bale had been left whole, the weaker cows wouldn't have been able to eat. So there is merit in rolling out a bale, but too expensive for me!

We rake up the dead hay and spread it on poor ground. It works for us.
 

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After buying just two types of seed to seed one small~and I do mean small~part of the meadow, and seeing very minimal results from all the seed, lime and fertilizer I applied to that one spot, I can afford to waste the hay. ;) The seed costs WAY more and yields WAY less than my spreading out this hay I bought~I got 1200 lb round bales for $25 ea this year. I also bought some really crappy quality square bales for $3 ea. and that was a complete waste for feeding purposes...I'm hoping they will make decent ground cover, though.

Of course, I'm not feeding horses and they are much pickier than cows or sheep, aren't they?
 

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Was walking the land this morning with Mom, showing her the areas I want to fence off for grazing the sheep under, what trees I want to cut to thin out the canopy, and looking at available forage. Made me really excited!!!

If I can slowly start extending fence all up this ridge, I could utilize most of this 20 acres as pasture and silvopasture by the time I'm done. This means I can run more sheep, which means I can use the profit from lamb sales to make back the initial investments and any ongoing expenses, but finally be operating at a profit within 3-4 yrs, if the Lord wills it. That profit can go towards paying property taxes, repairs and upgrades on the house and vehicles, etc.

Meanwhile, we can generate a lot of firewood and lumber along the way, increase production of our existing oak and cherry trees~which will make more food for the sheep and chickens!~increase feed for the wildlife(translate "hunting"), and make the place even more beautiful along the way. All that will also increase property values.

Really excited about the development of this land with the help of sheep. I was looking at available grasses and legumes that are merely stunted and crowded out by moss all over this current lawn/meadow and we have quite a variety of good stuff...it just needs a chance to express itself.
 

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Does your pasture look like this?



If it does, how much money and machinery did you have to use to get it that way? Regenerative farming practices and managed grazing produced this...no plowing, no planting of seed, no fertilizing, no liming, etc.
 
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We got our heads together yesterday and decided to get a forestry guy in here to give us advice on our trees and their value, who best to get to harvest them for us. We have some really massive pines here that are constantly getting blown down in big storms...when one of those uproot it leaves a huge divet and root ball, as well as a ton of tree and mess in its path.

We want to remove all those pines from our meadow and woodlots as they are doing nothing good for our soils and we'd like to get out of doing it ourselves, so are thinking of selling those and a few veneer quality oak and a single huge cedar as well. All trees that are not working for us, but against us, and can give us a bit of cash to build fencing, roofing for pole sheds, etc.

Will be contacting the local ag service about who to get to evaluate these trees for us. We'd like to get in a logging company that puts very little impact on the land and will clean up their messes as they go....would really love it if they would chip the limbs and blow it back onto the land. That gets rid of a lot of brush piles...we have plenty of those already.

If we can get those big trees out of here, the smaller and trashier trees we can slowly weed out on our own and use them for firewood if they are big enough. We have a LOT of good oak on this acreage that's coming along and really big also that we'll leave in place, but those few gigantic oak are ripe for harvest before disease or pests can take them out and render them worthless for selling.
 
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