Updated: Apr 16
When i started farming 20 years ago i was 46 and had no idea at all how to raise livestock. and my first few cows had the unfortunate luck of the draw and chose me! I lost my first 4 or 5 freshly weened calves. I would start them out on spring grass and 2 weeks later finish them off in my compost bin. I felt like the worst cattle rancher on earth. Then i was at my suppliers farm building a dairy set up when one day thr vet came to convert the baby calves to steers and ask her what i could be doing wrong? She ask me a couple questions and replied "you need to give them weeners a cup of sweet feed until they reach double their birth rate" I thought it couldnt possibly be that simple, so i tried it on my next few calves i could'nt believe my luck, or was it ignorance? I was just excited that i was able to keep them out of the compost pile. So the field they are in was all poison ivy and weeds a couple years earlier and not lush at all until I covered the fields with chickens and turkeys using the movable pens as you can see this spring pasture has the best grass i have ever seen. I have 10 acres of pasture and 10 cows. Without the poultry i could only have raised 5 cows but all that chicken manuer and the mob/move action i get more than my cows can graze. I had to mow a path to get around my fields, the cows do the rest.This electric rope keeps them on their toes. I always get the feeling im being watched!
I don't have many trees in my pastures so i built a movable shade. On hot days my cows will hang out under the shade and drink water. I can empty the water tub and roll the shade into the next padock then fill the tank. this holds it in place. I have a salt lick and some kelp on there as well.
Heres an old file of mine to see the effects chickens have on the grass, notice the demarcation line down the middle of my pasture and the growth rate of the grass which got chicken and turkey droppings. My cows love to graze off the lush greens first.