Why is Pasture Care important for Livestock Care?
When considering taking care of our livestock, feeding quality grain, clean non-moldy hay, providing fresh water daily, and having shelter available for bad weather are the main things we think of. Something that often gets overlooked is pasture care and maintenance.
Here are a few tips that I use to keep my pasture looking great and providing healthy grass for my livestock here in Evansville! Choose two times each year to inspect your pasture. I walk fence lines once in the fall and again in the spring. These are 2 great times during the year to check for erosion and other issues that are caused by spring rains and harsh winters. These are also great times to check pasture forage and see what’s growing.
Why is Erosion Control important for Livestock Care?
We all know Evansville weather can provide harsh winters and wet springs that leave us with several inches of snow and rain. Erosion control is extremely important in preventing livestock injuries. Holes form quickly from heavy rain and snow run off and varmints digging tunnels create soft spots that livestock can stumble into. If your horses and livestock step in one of these holes or soft spots they could be seriously injured creating a whole new set of problems!
Fences need to be checked for stability.
- Check boards for cracking or splits.
- Keep extra boards or planks on hand for quick replacements.
- Seal wooden fences and posts.
Daily wear and tear will eventually cause boards to crack and break. A lot of livestock, especially horses, lean against fences to eat grass on the other side. They also rub on boards and posts to scratch themselves. These extra pressures along with varying weather conditions, year after year, can be hard on our fences. We keep extra wooden planks available to replace broken and worn sections of pasture fence. Also, sealing wooden fences or at least the posts will avoid early decay.
Soil maintenance helps keep pastures healthy and reduces grain and hay costs!
- Test your pasture soil.
- Spread quality fertilizer.
- Spray for weeds.
It’s important to spread quality fertilizer on pastures at least once a year. Normally the soil needs more Nitrogen than anything else. To determine what is best for your pasture buy a soil test from your local farm store to analyze your soil’s mineral needs. Checking the PH of your soil tells you if it’s time to add lime. Weed control is important to keep your grass from being crowded out. It is a constant and ongoing process for quality livestock care, we all need to stay on top of our pastures!