Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE02-409.
Due to the results of this study:
– we will put perimeter fencing around more of our property to increase pasture land base, and turn several acres of young forest into brow.
– paddock sizes will be larger with a loafing area in each (either movable hoop-house shelter or shaded woods area). This idea is a result of a pasture walk at the farm of another goat grazer, Lynn Rockwell. Her animals had access to the barnyard in the night and during hot weather. Goats enjoy having an area to relax in when not grazing and no most of their waste deposit in that area. Although it is not ideal for fertilizing fields, they could very well have this behavior to keep feces off their feed. The movable hoop-house is a compromise idea, which will allow us to occasionally move the location to reduce nutrient loading and to keep manure and flies away from milk barn and house. This movable shelter will have the added benefit of allowing us to have animals outside later in the season when cold rainy weather becomes frequent.
– to reduce the level of nutrient transport from fields to loafing area and to reduce the amount of potential rot in the long sward as well as to reduce infectious larvae on the grass, we will graze either beef cows or replacement heifers on our pasture areas.