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Monthly ArchiveSeptember 2008

Dairy Cattle &Sustainable Agriculture saboranch on 24 Sep 2008

Rotational Grazing Example

This slightly blurry photo, taken at dusk, shows a newly grazed, now resting area of pasture on the right, and a yet-ungrazed section on the left. We use these electric fence ribbons in much of our grazing management, allowing us to quickly graze, then rest, our pastures, allowing for maximum grass growth and pasture regeneration.

We only wanted the cows to graze the right hand portion, which they did over a two day period. This area is full of common tansy, a plant whose tea can cause abortions in humans.

However, it is also a natural cattle wormer, and high in calcium. Previous to this, the cows grazed sections of our hayfield (back portion of this photo), a mixture of grasses and clovers. Upon introduction to the “weedy” area here along the irrigation ditch, they consumed every tansy plant in sight.

Within several days, as they moved along the ditch, their tansy consumption was down to nearly nil. They had their fill, consumed the minerals and medicinals they needed, and passed back, free choice, to primarily grass consumption.

Dairy Cattle saboranch on 24 Sep 2008

Lawn Mowing Sabo Style

We often hot fence the gentle dairy cows into a small space around the house or guest cabins (pictured here) using them to keep the grass short. How many of us have a lawn mower that gives creamy grassfed milk?

Beef Cattle saboranch on 24 Sep 2008

First Devon Calf

Our first Rotokawa Devon heifer calf, born on Mother’s Day. 2008.

Beef Cattle saboranch on 24 Sep 2008

Red Cows at Sunset

Red Cows at sunset with the mountains behind: This view across our front hayfield shows a typical winter snow and the spectacular Tobacco Root mountain range that is our backyard. Our ranch sits at 5200′, with about 16-18″ of annual precipitation.

Warm summer days (80-100 deg F) and cool nights, (usually in the 40’s) lead to high omega 3 and CLA (conjugated linoleum acid) levels in our grasses and hay crop. Our soils, freshly eroded from the mountains, are high in minerals that create sweet, intensely flavored 100% Grassfed meat from our beef animals.

These 26 Red Angus heifers are the beginning of our 100% Grassfed Beef herd. We implanted 14 full blood Rotokawa™ Devon embryos in these heifers in August last year, following up with our full blood Devon bull, “Sabo’s Abel”. We eagerly awaited the birth of our full blood and half blood Devon calves in May and June 2008. These girls are a wonderfully plump, easy keeping, gentle bunch of cows.