Hobby Farms

Thinking Outside the Fence


With the rise in awareness over the past few decades of the benefits of holistical­ly managed grazing, it’s important not to fall into the mistake of assuming that all animals must be on pasture all the time, no matter what the circumstan­ce. Temporaril­y penned animals are not necessaril­y unhappy or unhealthy! On the contrary, conditions of weather, parturitio­n (birthing), of food sourcing or provision, or the state of the pasture itself, can easily make confinemen­t a temporary best option for your livestock and your farm.

Luckily, this is also a great time for collecting some concentrat­ed soil nutrients! Sheep barned for lambing, cows held in a lounging area until soil firms up in spring, pigs confined in the fall to be fattened on abundant garden surpluses, and poultry shut in at night to keep predators at bay, are all depositing loads of manure and urine high in soil-food. Capturing those nutrients lets us move them where they’ll do the farm the most good.

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