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Thread: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

  1. #751
    FarmerDan
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    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Quote Originally Posted by The ruminant View Post
    If anyone's interested, my Nuffield report on mob grazing is now 'live' on the Nuffield website.

    It can be viewed by following this link: http://www.nuffieldinternational.org...11-report_.pdf

    Cheers
    Tom
    Great report Tom. Have you read Simon Fairlie's book "Meat - a benign extravagance?" Ploughing my way through it now. It's an interesting read, and the author wants to believe in mob grazing but can't find much scientific backing for it.

    The method makes logical sense to me and I'm sure I would have more grazing available for my beef cattle come a dry summer, but possibly lower growth rates for stores if it got too stemmy. My gut feeling is that it's a system that suits sucklers rather than youngish store cattle.

    I'm almost convinced and planning on implementing rotational grazing on our existing pasture as of next spring, but most of my leys are rye-grass based so I'm not sure if I can let the grass rest more than four weeks without it going to seed... Also trying a bit of herbal ley with lots of Sainfoin in it so will see how that goes too.

    Is Allan Savory's book worth a read? Are there any other books on getting started with this stuff?

  2. #752
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Quote Originally Posted by FarmerDan View Post
    Great report Tom. Have you read Simon Fairlie's book "Meat - a benign extravagance?" Ploughing my way through it now. It's an interesting read, and the author wants to believe in mob grazing but can't find much scientific backing for it.

    The method makes logical sense to me and I'm sure I would have more grazing available for my beef cattle come a dry summer, but possibly lower growth rates for stores if it got too stemmy. My gut feeling is that it's a system that suits sucklers rather than youngish store cattle.

    I'm almost convinced and planning on implementing rotational grazing on our existing pasture as of next spring, but most of my leys are rye-grass based so I'm not sure if I can let the grass rest more than four weeks without it going to seed... Also trying a bit of herbal ley with lots of Sainfoin in it so will see how that goes too.

    Is Allan Savory's book worth a read? Are there any other books on getting started with this stuff?
    Simon Fairlie mainly did desk based research for his book so he may not have seen the systems in action. But I'd bet mob grazing is not for everyone and its mainly about rest and intense grazing rather than the mob imv

    As for books - well apart from the net of course

    google Greg Judy, Dan Dagget, Jim Howell good reading for long evenings and will stretch your perspective if nothing else. Alan Savorys book is very good but quite difficult, well worth reading in my opinion tho.

  3. #753
    YC
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    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Don't forget julius ruechel's 'grass fed cattle'. I think it's more on the practical side than the others. I read the first chapter, penny dropped, never looked back. I don't like to get bogged down in the theory too much: I say just get some fencing and get it done. If you don't like it you can go back :lolk:

  4. #754
    OogieM
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    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Quote Originally Posted by The ruminant View Post
    If anyone's interested, my Nuffield report on mob grazing is now 'live' on the Nuffield website.

    It can be viewed by following this link: http://www.nuffieldinternational.org...11-report_.pdf

    Cheers
    Tom
    I've been reading this and I was very impressed. I am still a bit concerned that it doesn't work as well with sheep as opposed to cattle or bison but plan to try it based on our successful use of increased stock density this drought year.

    Thanks for sharing the report, very useful.

  5. #755
    SamA
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Quote Originally Posted by FarmerDan View Post
    I'm almost convinced and planning on implementing rotational grazing on our existing pasture as of next spring, but most of my leys are rye-grass based so I'm not sure if I can let the grass rest more than four weeks without it going to seed... Also trying a bit of herbal ley with lots of Sainfoin in it so will see how that goes too.

    Is Allan Savory's book worth a read? Are there any other books on getting started with this stuff?
    We rent a farm which is split into quite a few smallish paddocks, so thought I would rotate the cattle (suckler cows and calves) around these this summer, it has worked really well in the wet as it means thed gateways havent had the pressure like they would before when the cattle would run the whole block. It is mostly old pasture and has had roughly 3 - 4 weeks rest between the cattle moving around. Also because of the late silage this year ended up grazing one of the silage fields and the cattle grazed it right down. It is nice to take them out of a field and see it grazed right down evenly and grows back evenly rather than when it is ranched the fields are all untidy. Oh and the cattle are so much better to work with as they come to the call a lot better and look well for it. Will definately be doing the same next year.

  6. #756
    OogieM
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    I've read Savory's book and it's dense but useful. I also just finished reading Jim Gerrish's "Kick the Hay Habit" and I think it's a much more readable version of the entire theory.

    We just brought the last of the sheep in for winter. Based on grass growth now, (we might still get some more growth if we get any moisture) I expect to put at least the rams back out for a while to clean up the fallen apples in the orchard and graze off the last grass once it freezes solid.

    However we already have 20,187 sheep grazing days for the year. That is the best year we since I started keeping detailed records in 2001! This was a drought year and we were on water rationing all summer so to get that much grazing and still have some left is a huge improvement in our farm. Our biggest change this year vs other years is we increased stock density and cut the grazing cell time from 4 days to 2.

  7. #757
    Tomsewell
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    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Tom, absolutely fantastic presentation of your Nuffield Paper today. One Nuffield old timer commented that it was one of the best sessions for years
    Inspiring first conference for me, look forward to meeting up soon and will try to get to Kinsey days in feb. cheers Tom

  8. #758
    (nearly)olddave
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    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Quote Originally Posted by dontknowanything View Post
    Here's my other mob grazing 'toy', inspired by Neil Dennis (via The Ruminant).



    Ruminant, did you see my question about mob grazing the cover crops a few posts back?
    A very good idea, but surely it is much more fun to use a plastic fence post and act the part of a medeival knight, until you are told to add a role- over bar

  9. #759
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Yes brilliant presentation ruminant. Nice to see a few things on mob graze/ no till etc. bringing it all into the mainstream a bit as opposed to thinking its only the preserve of oddbods, hippies or uncommercial farmers.

    I still reckon though you need to understand very carefully what your doing and trying to do when mob grazing etc or you may end up in a bit of trouble if not well planned. (so chat to plenty of people about it!)

  10. #760
    billy sugger
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    to the Ruminant in the original set of photos of calves with high covers of grass and thistles ,are the thistles still there or have they been beaten into submission?

  11. #761
    The ruminant
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomsewell View Post
    Tom, absolutely fantastic presentation of your Nuffield Paper today. One Nuffield old timer commented that it was one of the best sessions for years
    Inspiring first conference for me, look forward to meeting up soon and will try to get to Kinsey days in feb. cheers Tom
    Thanks Tom and it was good to meet you, good luck with your Nuffield, it's one hell of an experience from start to.... I would say 'finish' but I don't think it ever finishes!

    (BTW, glad you got your 'smart casual' attire right!)

    Quote Originally Posted by billy sugger View Post
    to the Ruminant in the original set of photos of calves with high covers of grass and thistles ,are the thistles still there or have they been beaten into submission?
    Billy, it's a very good question. The field in question did have a high number of creeping thistle when I started that had been mowed every year and still returned. After three seasons of mob grazing they are fewer than half the original number of plants so the grass is definitely outcompeting them.

    However, before I get too smug, there are other fields on the place where thistle, both creeping and scotch, are more numerous than when I started. I think I know what I did wrong, and I hope I can correct it, but only time will tell. I'll let you know in the next year or two!

  12. #762
    884
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    I think its time for me to contribute to the mob stocking thread after following it from the beginning when Tom first started it back in 2010.
    So this year I have been taking photos through out
    here are some of this years mob stocking pictures.
    This has been my third season mob stocking, with this year being the wettest however the ground has hold up very well considering the high density.
    Thanks also to Neil Dennis and Will for some interesting advise when they visited me this year.


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  13. #763
    BSH
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Well done, looks good!

  14. #764

  15. #765

  16. #766
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Looks interesting 884. Big question - whats your Dad say?!

    Three things that look interesting in particular

    1 - How many have your brought in the shed and how many have you kept grazing out until Nov? Have you extended the grazing season or simply pushed the need for so much silage back a bit?

    2. The fields with rush in have presumably not drained that well historically - despite the fact that you are quite high up and on sloping ground. Have you noticed any difference since the sward got a bit taller or is it too early to say?

    3. The dominant sward looks pretty strongly in favour of ryegrass, have you noticed much more variety?

    Really pleased you gave it a go anyway, had a chat with Neil the other day and he did ask how you were getting on but I said I didn't know. Can tell him now.

    p.s. he loves a chat so give him a call.

    p.p.s You could probably do with more stock density though, don't know what Tom thinks.

  17. #767
    martian
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Thanks for the photos- looking good. How often were you moving them 884? Nice covering of 'natural fertiliser' and trampling, but they don't look too crammed in together

  18. #768
    FarmerDan
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Just been doing a bit of Christmas reading. "Salad Bar Beef" by Joel Salatin. It's a very interesting read.

    Anyone in the UK using Shaklee Basic H as a wormer? Or Diatomaceous earth? Sounds too good to be true.

    http://www.permies.com/t/3751/critte...-animal-wormer

  19. #769
    OogieM
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Quote Originally Posted by FarmerDan View Post
    Anyone in the UK using Shaklee Basic H as a wormer? Or Diatomaceous earth? Sounds too good to be true.
    It is, Organic farmers here did some tests. Basic H was worse than no wormer at all and Diatomaceous earth can cause respiratory issues. Total snake oil.
    What happens on that farms that say that is the reason they have few problems is they have selected for resilient animals and cull heavily. Also many are blissfully unaware of the actual state of parasites in their flock/herds. I like a lot of what Joe Salatin says but a lot is also total BS so take it all with a block of salt.

  20. #770
    johnny400
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Quote Originally Posted by FarmerDan View Post
    Just been doing a bit of Christmas reading. "Salad Bar Beef" by Joel Salatin. It's a very interesting read.

    Anyone in the UK using Shaklee Basic H as a wormer? Or Diatomaceous earth? Sounds too good to be true.

    http://www.permies.com/t/3751/critte...-animal-wormer
    Denis Brinicombe are doing a bucket with diatomaceous earth for sheep, not sure about cattle tho.

  21. #771

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Glad some of the old threads have been rediscovered! Anyone preparing a mob-grazing plan this year?

  22. #772
    Senior Member
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    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Quote Originally Posted by The Ruminant View Post
    Glad some of the old threads have beens rediscovered! Anyone preparing a mob-grazing plan this year?
    +1
    I shall be continuing my experiment in 1 field, it'll be the 3rd year of mob grazing for that field , so it will be interesting to see how it goes. That's presuming we ever get any grass growth! Have you managed to keep some grass to start the grazing season Ruminant? Even where there was grass here, it's burnt off to nothing with the NE wind and frost.

  23. #773
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    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Brilliant. Thanks to whoever pulled this one back. I was half way through when it disappeared.

  24. #774
    Senior Member MerryKerry's Avatar
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    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    What we did get to graze last year, well, thank god for mobstocking, anything less would have been a total mudpit. As it was the steers managed to stay out til christmas and the fields look fine. The cows/calves and heifers all had to be in in october as hours after they were moved from their paddock it was under feet of water - 3 months worth of grass, gone completely. That looks pretty awful now. There's nothing left out there now as it's not growing much at all and we will wait til we have a good sward before turning out - we didn't leave anything over from autumn, gave it all to the steers and sheep.

    The sheep are still being mobstocked as they have been all winter apart from a break through january just to give me a break from doing it really - I moved them close to home and fed them silage as long as i dared as with it being SO wet, we've had the first lameness in the sheep for years. Not in the homebred kerrys, but the shetland crosses especially and the wensleydale crosses, some. I had intended to then graze them away from home on some land we were offered that hadnt been able to be cut due to the wet, and then bring them back for lambing set stocked as we have so few ewes this year, but they hadnt finished up there and we don't have anything here so we've just had to carry on mobstocking through lambing, away from home. Apart from me being annoyed using up diesel on two trips out every day, it's been absolutely fine - no mismothering, every single lamb live, one orphan and one needed a bit of a pull...wasn't a massive lamb but the ewe's ancient and usually has twins so i guess wasn't up for pushing enough this year maybe!?

    All in all...we're doing OK and as usual, it's the mobstocking that keeps us rolling!

  25. #775
    Senior Member MerryKerry's Avatar
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    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Quote Originally Posted by FarmerDan View Post
    Just been doing a bit of Christmas reading. "Salad Bar Beef" by Joel Salatin. It's a very interesting read.

    Anyone in the UK using Shaklee Basic H as a wormer? Or Diatomaceous earth? Sounds too good to be true.

    http://www.permies.com/t/3751/critte...-animal-wormer
    OH imported basic H for maybe 7yrs? He's far more of a salatin disciple than me...ecover washing up liquid seems to be virtually the same thing though so I switched us to that, and we've stopped using either...no change. The stock are happier too I think as they seemed to hate drinking it! (not surprising...)

    diatom I find to be excellent externally for lice, not bothered trying it for worms.

  26. #776
    Senior Member
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    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    We use diatom on hens and it's excellent. Very effective.

  27. #777
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    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    I seem to remember on here talk of good and bad cattle wormers with regards to soil health but can't find where it is. Can anyone give me some advice on which type to avoid?

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