Rotational grazing is a style of pasturing where ranchers move animals through multiple separate pastures. The goal of this is to enhance the health of the animals, soil, and foliage. Here’s why it’s important to rotate your livestock.
Promotes Healthy Plant Disturbance
In some counties, local wildlife managers create regional plans and guidelines for ranchers to follow to help promote a healthy “disturbance” to the grasses and scrubs in the area. With too much disturbance, the plants may have a hard time bouncing back from grazing. Just as they are starting to grow again, livestock can nibble them away. This makes it hard for a field to grow to its fullest. However, with too little animal disturbance, the plants don’t get the support they need to spread their seeds in the area.
Makes Managing Animals Easier
Another primary reason why it’s important to rotate your livestock is that it promotes a good relationship with the animals. Often, when they see you arrive, they’ll know that you’re moving them to a pasture where the grass is greener on the other side. Overall, they’ll feel less stressed, and you’ll have more face time with them to monitor their health.
Results in Better Soil Health
You can have an area like a horse dry lot where your animals can stay. This will allow the soil in the surrounding areas to recover. Without good soil, you wouldn’t have good grazing material, and your animals would suffer. When animals walk on soil too often, they compact the ground, making it harder for it to absorb water. Young plants must then extend their roots further into the earth. The soil is also less breathable, making it hard to become fertilized naturally. If the ground doesn’t have the nutrients it needs, you’ll have to spend money on fertilizer. Plants need time to grow their roots and take a break from having animals graze on them. With this, they’ll be able to grow taller and more robust for the next time the livestock is in the pasture.
There are many benefits to rotational grazing. Of course, it takes a bit more labor and fencing to practice. However, the rewards may be worth it, depending on your situation.