Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pasture management

Mary, her yearling calf, Abe, and Catalina
I let my front paddock become overgrazed last year while we built fences, but it is recovering nicely with the winter and spring rest.  Though this is intended to be my legume-rich pig pasture for the summer, there was so much clover that I had to call in the cows to harvest it.  I held the six of them on this two acre plot for about five days.  Then, cattle were out and pigs again had access to the field. 

Now that all the doctoring is done for a while, I am moving the pigs into their summer cottages and out of the barn stalls where they have slept since moving to Bluestem Farm.  These will be cleaned up and freshened for the next round of babies- calves!

Mary and Martha are both due to deliver in the next few weeks, so they are quarantined in the west paddock to be near the house and barn.  I want the stalls ready in the rare case that they need birth assistance.

I was pretty confident that Mary had weaned Abe a few months back, and that was confirmed when I shut the mother in away from him.  They can still visit through the fence, but there was no bawling at all.  With the impressive store of fat that Mary has accumulated from the spring grass, I was sure that her body was handling the pregnancy well even without artificially weaning her first calf.  

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