This week I sat down to make my grazing plan for the lambs. A grazing plan is an outline of where you expect your animals to be grazing at what time and for how long. I was maybe a little bit too excited to have an excuse to bust out my calculator. Cranking through the calculations felt like all kinds of fun muscle memory from engineering school.
The factors in play are how many animals you have, how much your animals weigh, what percentage of their body weight your animals eat every day, how many acres you have, how much grass is on those acres, how tall the grass is when the sheep get there and how tall the grass is when they leave.
It is one of those things where I'm making a lot of educated guesses and need to be prepared for the whole thing to be wrong. It might rain too much or too little at the worst time for making sure my animals have enough grass to eat.
The grazing plan has the big areas where my sheep will be over a period of weeks. I'll be moving my sheep everyday within those big areas in the Spring when the grass is at its most lush. In the Summer and Fall, I'll be moving my animals every few days when the grass slows down a little.
So far I've got through most of September planned out. I was pretty conservative in the amount of food for the lambs I'm expecting to be there and I'm trying to avoid bringing my lambs through the same piece of land three times in one season. It is better to give the grass time to grow back and it helps make sure there has been enough time for parasites left behind from the previous grazing have died. Fortunately there is some wiggle room in terms of finding other acres to graze on the incubator property. I'll let you know how it turns out.
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Leanna at Four Legs Farm