Where does your cattle live?
Most cattle raised these days are kept in a confined space and fed and watered in limited spaces. They may get out from time to time, but that isn’t the best option for raising livestock. Before we started raising them, cattle wandered in herds and had freedom to explore the world around them freely. This is an method that is still used and can be quite beneficial to more than just the cattle.
How does grazing work?
Cattle that graze have freedom to move around and eat the grasses that are around them, but are often supplemented with other feeding materials depending on the needs of the individual animals. How you set up the grazing locations and patterns is dependent on your location and layout. You can set up specific strips for grazing in order to rotate the grasses and allow for regrowth to happen after a strip has been eaten to a certain point. You can also cross graze and allow various grazing animals into the same space.
How does grazing benefit your cattle?
Allowing your cattle to graze allows them the freedom to move around provides them with the opportunity to move around rather than standing in a small and limited space. This extra movement will lead to better development and muscle growth. Grazing also provides a better balance to their diet and digestion. Cattle that graze live a healthier life.
How does this benefit the environment where they graze?
When cattle graze, they make use of may plants that can cause issues with the ecosystem in which they graze. There isn’t much that cattle won’t at least try to eat. This benefits the ecosystem because most grasses benefit from regular trimming. If there isn’t some way to keep the grasses under control, you may begin to notice that there is an accumulation of dead grasses matting up the area. Grazing cattle can help maintain the grazing area and keep it healthy.
Can grazing protect native ecosystems?
Without maintenance, non-native species of plants can find a place to grow in these impacted ecosystems. When this happens you can develop invasive species that can negatively impact the quality of the environment around them. These alien species can inhibit the growth and germination of native species and lead to an aggressive take over. Grazing can reduce the need for herbicides and avoid issues with contamination from these chemical concoctions. Adding these chemicals can also lead to complications in the environment.
How can grazing help wildlife in the environment to thrive?
Having a healthy and diverse collection of plants not only keeps your property growing and living vibrantly, but it also helps to maintain the population of the wildlife around your property as well. The species you have in your area are looking for the native species you have already and invasive species may not meet their dietary needs as well. This can support thriving as well as endangered species around your property. In supporting grazing animals at your location, you are also supporting the needs of the herbivores around you. These support the dietary needs of the carnivores and omnivores as well. This creates a greater quality to your local food chain and maintains the ecosystem even better.
How does this make your cattle healthier?
When your soil, wildlife, and ecosystem are in balance, you will find that the grasses that are grown on your property will greatly improve in quality and nutritional benefits. You will find that the longer you graze your cattle, the better it will be for them. It ties in with the way cattle lived before we started raising them in the United States. As a result, it will feel more natural to them. Spending your life in a room in a barn is no way to exist even for cattle. Having the freedom to move around and eat growing grass can be an excellent option for your herd.
Is grazing the right choice for you cattle?
Now that you have more information on grazing your cattle you will need to decide if it is the right choice for you and you property. Do you want to have a better ecosystem on your property? Do you want your cattle to be healthier and be more productive? Do you want to see an decrease in the damaging impacts of overgrown grasses? Then grazing your cattle is something you need to look into. Now all you need to do is work on a plan.
What do I need to do to get started?
The first step you need to take is develop a layout for your property in order to understand where and how you will set up your grazing zones and scheduling for rotating through the various grazing locations. Once you have this set up, you can move forward.