Sunday, November 18, 2012

Still Grazing

Mother Nature has blessed us the past several weeks with continued decent weather.

It has been dry and sunny during the day with the temps in the 40's during the day and down to 20 degrees at night.  Cold enough to freeze the water in the duck pool until it warms up around 11 am.

The herd is still rotating through the fields on their way to the barnyard for the winter. 
Its a slow migration.

I frequently drive up the rural back road to check on them and I love finding them eating or napping in the sun.

I really hope this good weather continues.  In August and September we had to feed hay because all the streams were bone dry and there was only water at the main barn.  So this extended grazing is wonderful for us.

When the sun is out, the cows groom their herd mates and their calves.

The herd grazes in the valleys......

and on the rocky outcroppings on the hillsides,....

No piece of grass is overlooked or spared.

We do a lot of "hillside" grazing here in Vermont.  

We do not waste an inch of ground.

And the calves expertly nurse on the hillsides.  Some calves prefer nursing on the upside of a hill and some prefer the downside.       Interesting to watch.

Mavis has been enjoying the sunshine on the porch. 

Sometimes the pullets come up and lay down next to her.

I hope this weather continues for another 5 weeks.  Think it will ?

Are your livestock still grazing ?



  1. We have a set limit (6 -8") that we do not graze below. This has made the pastures incredibly prolific in the quality and volume of grass we have. We also do rotational grazing, no "second bite".

    So when the big herd had grazed the fields to that limit, we took them off. Had we had the normal number of cows, we would still be grazing, as the grass has come back to a small degree.

    But to have left the big herd on the pastures longer would have done serious damage to them.

    Next year we'll have the normal number our fields can support and should have grass from April to December, even if there's little rain.

    That's another thing that is improved: not running out of grass in times of little rain. The increased organic matter from the style of grazing soaks up water and helps tide over during dry spells.

  2. Our sheep are bred and now the rams and ewes are all together. They love to graze on the frozen grass. Like you say, any grass taste good. We have begun feeding hay. They prefer the grass to hay. Can't blame them. Much Love.

  3. We're getting some of the same kind of weather up here in Northern Minnesota. Our cattle prefer hay to the browned pastures right now, but graze from time to time. What a blessing this weather is.

  4. Yes, here in south-central Kansas, about 1/3 of our cow-calf beef herd is enjoying their pasture sooooo much, that they refuse to be herded, lured or hypnotically coerced into the pens/trailers for the ride to their winter pens at home (where the water doesn't freeze up over the winter, but there is little grazing). Another try tomorrow or Wednesday - think good thoughts! Deb

  5. Hope your nice weather continues! It has been really nice here in Missouri.

    Love all the photos. I have a soft spot for cows!

    Visiting from the clever chicks blog hop :)

  6. Hi Janis! Returning your follow from Life on the Funny Farm. Love your blog and can't wait to come back for more!!!
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving....

  7. Your cows look so laid back! I would love to raise animals like that, but I live in a small place.

  8. I stopped by off "Simple Living Wednesday". I have really enjoyed the tailes and look forward to mare. I grew up on a cattle farm (at one time 150 plus head) and miss it dearly. This brings back great memories! Please stop by and visit when you get a chance!