If you have any animal on your homestead, then rotational grazing is for you. Since I have goats and chickens I will discuss rotational grazing of these animals. Firstly rotational grazing is a technique to preserve you land, so your animal will not destroy it. Even if you only have just a few animals, they will tax the land that they are on until they compact and erode the soil. Bad soil is obviously bad for your animal and your land. I will employ a paddock shift system for my goats and my livestock guardian dog. I am currently purchasing the electric fencing and movable post for the paddock. But more on why to rotate your livestock I have observed that my goats and dog (especially the dog) are damaging the landscape with in their pen. I did not think they would tear the ground as fast as they have. The pen they are in now was to be expanded at a later date, but money wise the portable electric is more cost effective and gives me more options on how I want to move my animals. How fodder crops will play into this. I currently have two areas where I plan to plant fodder crops for my goats. I will plant a mixture of annual and perennial grain and legumes. This will be polycultured meaning many plants together. First crop is cowpea. Cowpea is used in Permaculture as a cover crop because of its hardiness and is a nitrogen fixer. Next is Lucerne. Lucerne is a legume and is also a nitrogen fixer, but is a perennial where cowpea is an annual. Lastly I will plant sorghum and oats. Both are annual grains. I planted oats this year and the goats loved it. I just didn’t plant enough because it was mainly an experiment to see how easy it was to grow oats in Georgia. I plan to run my goats paddock through the crops followed by my chickens in their chicken tractors moving each every day or two.
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