Friday, July 24, 2015

The Overgrown Pasture

Goats are excellent escape artists. That's a well known, well proven, fact. This spring my family finally got fed up with continually fixing the fence every time the goats found/made another hole or low spot in the fence. So we built an electric fence. It has worked amazingly well! The goats haven't escaped once!

The downside to the electric fence? Well, now the goats only have about 1/4 of the original pasture to graze. So currently the rest of the pasture is very overgrown, and I'm feeding extra grain to make up for the smaller pasture. The plan is to use electric fence to divide the rest of the pasture into paddocks so that we can do rotational grazing, but we haven't gotten around to it yet. 

Meanwhile, typically fat Sombrita has gotten rather skinny, and her milk production has dropped. The rest of the goats have been doing fine on the smaller pasture with extra grain. Sombrita, however, is getting older and is used to having plenty of pasture and a wide variety of forage. So, since she is old and no longer an escape artist, I decided to put her out in the overgrown pasture (still fenced in by the old, falling apart fence). She is now a happy goat!

I figured she might get a little lonely out there all alone though, so I decided to put her half-sister, Bow, along with Bow's 5 week old baby, Essie, out in the big pasture as well. Bow is the same age as Sombrita, and also looking a little skinny. She and little Essie are very excited by the wide variety of green stuff to eat!

I am hoping to see weight gain and an increase of milk production in both Sombrita and Bow now that they are back on the pasture they are used to. If they do well out there, and don't find any holes in the fence, I have a couple other older goats I might put out as well. There is more than enough for them to eat! 

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