Putting up fences and herding cattle with Cory
"What cha' doing today? I asked Cory.
"I could use some help," he says. "I need to put up some temporary fencing to move the herd to a fresh pasture."
Do you have dreams of cattle or sheep herding - or is it just me?
Well, you let us know as Cory oft could use a hand.
So I finally had my herding experience and it was beyond glorious.
It happened on Dec. 7, a freakishly warm day.
All the gals heard us coming, and gathered near the fence in anticipation of a fresh meal.
They are not skittish around folks when they are waiting to eat. I got this close.
I drove the ATV while Cory walked behind putting in the fencing stakes through the sorghum.
Then we opened up the fence for them, and they walked on through. We walked behind them making sure the small blind one stayed en route.
You're looking at cow butts here, moving through waste-high sorghum, which a hunter neighbor planted to attract deer.
A couple of them tried to stop off and enjoy a deer salt lick. Cory yelled at them and they moved on.
After a few hundred yards we ARRIVED, at a magnificently thick and green pasture.
They just stopped and dropped their heads. All you could hear was the sound of 200 jaws chomping.
Have you ever heard mass grazing? It's one of my favorite sounds.
Of course, I took a video of the chomping so you can watch and listen.
It's posted on here on our Facebook page. (Video file is too big to put in an email.)
The key to raising grass-fed animals is to have lots of healthy grass.
What do you need for fast-growing, healthy grass? Fertile soil that's alive with billions of microbes.
When animals graze on grass, their mouths pull at the grass, which sends sugar down through the roots to the microbes, feeding them and stimulating a rebuilding response.
Shortly thereafter, their manure droppings provide the best plant nutrition in the world, far far far superior to anything you can buy.
While might seem counter-intuitive to you, the best thing for grass and soil is intensive grazing, in which the animals are led onto a small plot of land that they graze quickly and trample thoroughly, and are quickly moved on to another such plot.
This quick and intensive grazing simulates what the massive herds of buffalo did across the American planes for thousands of years.
This 'chomp, poop and stomp' activity of ruminants is the key to building grass and soil.
Which then creates the best food for them!
Wow, what a divine and efficient cycle of life.