Livestock Rotation: Our Farm's Link to the Past
Think back to you every book you've read or every movie you've seen about the "wild west" when buffalo herds roamed the range. Can you hear the prairie grasses whooshing in the wind? The squash of a hawk overhead?
Huge herds of bison would roam together, moving constantly. In mass, they'd move from one section of prairie to another, having a high level of impact on the land (grazing the native grasses, hooves impacting the soil, fertilizing the already rich and verdant pastures) for a short period of time. They'd quickly then move onto a new section of land, allowing that last section of the prairie the time and space to rest and recover.
Nature itself is an incredible mentor and one we turn to to perfect our regenerative farming methods, which rely heavily on livestock rotation.
On our farm, our 100% grass-fed cattle are rotated around the farm incrementally, section by section, helping us rehab the land and the soil while they munch contentedly on cover crop and native prairie grasses. After the cows move through, our 100% pasture-raised laying hens make an appearance on that same section of pasture. Our hens happen to have some sweet digs to retreat to whenever they want: a mobile hen house on sled skids that we can drag with the tractor and move around the farm. The hens like to eat any bugs left behind from the cows (fringe benefit)! And lastly, our 100% pasture-raised pigs come through, rooting around in the soil, turning it for us and unearthing deep and dormant grass seed.
Not only is this system incredible for the health of our farmland, its also incredible for the health of our livestock, which translates directly into the nutrient-density of the meat and hence the health of those of us who choose to consume it.
Happy (and healthy) Eating,