Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Violet on Grass

Yesterday, I just couldn't stand it, and I gave Violet a very small section of grass. This is usual, actually, but the section was VERY small. I'm giving her a little at a time under the old apple trees. I want to graze her in the orchard ASAP, and she has to walk past this patch of grass to get to the orchard. If the grass there is ready to graze, she can be extremely difficult to move forward.

The hard part of surrendering now is the management difficulties. We are not ready to milk two times a day- not until ballet is over for summer- so we do not want to wean the calves. The calves are also still small enough that keeping them in electric fence will be trying at best. This means I let Violet graze a few hours, then move her back with the calves. Today, I put her with the calves long enough for them to nurse, then moved her back to grass. Tomorrow is a really crazy activity day, so she'll stay in the paddock with the calves all day. I figure she'll protest a lot, but it's worth it to actually have her on grass almost every day.

I read in another blog how some people dole grass out slowly when the grass isn't coming on strong. This is definitely our situation, so maybe this will be good for the pasture, too. I'll still cut her grass from the lawn or from around the trees so she has something green on the days I need to leave her in the paddock. Mostly, it was lovely to see her rumen looking filled up when I put her with the calves; that's good for all of us.

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