Everyone was quietly and peacefully grazing. Cotton was loyally at my side and I thought this would make a nice serene picture for the blog. A cool calm summer morning. As I pressed the camera button cotton took off and I ended up with an action shot of Cotton chasing calves which ended up with a calf almost jumping the hot wire to get back to mom. Almost because she didn’t quite make it and caught the wire (it was off) and drug it half way across the paddock. Sigh.
So Benjamin doesn’t like trees for some reason. All the other cows get excited for trees and like to eat the leaves. Big Ben has another reaction. It’s something I’ve never seen.
Yesterday’s paddock on the right, todays on the left. The clumps of grass you see left over are all clipped by the cows but not eaten down past the first grazing. That’s perfect.
The fescue is growing strong and the cows simply cannot keep up. This is good because its about time to sequester some pastures for winter grazing. The fescue should go dormant again with the last of this heat and then its time for the fall flush of growth. That should time nicely with this last rotation.
Yesterday’s paddock on the left, day before yesterday on the right.
The pastures are noticeable in how they look after the full treatment. The super long paddocks were hard to tell where the cows had been and where they had not. These smaller paddocks are much different before and after but still are not overgrazed. It looks like we have the paddock sizes dialed in for the amount of grass we have right now.
The new fence charger has a nice remote that let’s me turn the fence on and off from anywhere there is a hot wire. It also has a nice belt clip so I can carry it around. Well this morning the belt clip came unsnapped and unknowingly to me it dropped to the ground while I was working. I just happened to stumble across it by accident laying out in the pasture. That’s 150 dollars and the way I control the fence. Rule #1 of moving cows is don’t forget to turn the hot wire back on before you finish. Rule #2 is the remote stays in the locker on the gator, period.
The mobile waterer needs some TLC. When its on any kind of grade, water leaks out the top and it runs continuously. This sets the ground in a high traffic area so it ends up being pugged. It’s only for one day so its not really bad but it wastes water. Looks like its time to take it apart and adjust the float.
It’s raining and cool again here at the farm. We should have sunshine today but its a misty cool start to the day. The grass continues to grow very well. It looks like the fescue is coming out of summer dormancy and is growing again. The cows certainly aren’t complaining.
SWMBO is starting day 2 of school. Spork reported that he very much enjoyed school yesterday and SWMBO said it went off very well so hopefully today will be a repeat.
After one full day of phosphorous refill, the cows have consumed about one half of the 25 pounds. I have one more bag of phosphorous and then I will be out. Luckily its time to reorder. I also notice that the trace mineral TA and the vitamin V4 are starting to look like they have had some attention and will need to be refilled in a week or two. Looks like a pallet of phosphorous is in order though. I’m very encouraged by the drop in the cows PH so I don’t mind ordering more. If this solves the PH problem it will be more than worth it.
Minerals continue to be a big hit, but still phosphorous (P) is the far and away leader. I refilled the phosphorous (P) section again this morning. It was licked clean. Thats the second refill since I started this. I noticed that the iodine looked like it had seen a bit of attention and while I was filling the P, the cows started hitting the iodine. Looks like they had a serious P need. The best part is that I was able to check Sam’s PH this morning. He is one of the cows that I have seen eating the P. his PH was about 7.8 or so. That’s the lowest any check has been since I started checking.
I don’t know the science behind this yet, but it does seem to be working. It will be interesting to see what other minerals start getting attention as their PH comes back in line. It’s also interesting that my soil tests showed a ground that was too acid, but in P and K was just fine. However the cows seem to need P really badly and they are not acid, but are alkaline. There is definitely more going on than the soil test indicated to me.
Today I refilled the phosphorus for the first time. All of the other minerals are completely untouched. The phosphorus was completely empty. Yesterday while giving a tour I saw one of the cows actually eating the phosphorus so this is the first time I’ve seen the cows use the feeder. Again this morning I saw the same cow use the feeder for a different mineral. I don’t know if any of the other cows are using the mineral feeder, I sure hope so
I checked a cows pH this morning and found that it had dropped half a point from when I started the free choice feeder. Their pH is still too high but we are making progress.