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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have about 6 acres of pasture with beautiful spring growth. I have divided it into 3 sections.
Question 1 - How long can I let my ND does graze/browse on fresh grass and brush each day?
Question 2 - How long can 6 goats use each 2 acre section before I need to rotate to a new section?
 

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I like to make sure my goats are full before introducing them to fresh green pasture. I feed mine their hay every morning and then a few hours later I let them out, that way they don’t seem to gorge themselves on really green stuff. They stay out all day with the option to have pasture or hay. I shut them in at night.

I got by the height of the grasses, since I’m on a USDA program I have to rotate them to a new pasture when the grass gets to 3-4 inches tall.
 

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Ours have been on pasture all spring as the grass slowly comes up, they get hat twice a day but also graze some. If they have been dry lotted we start with an hour twice a day after eating hay, then slowly extend the time.
There is no set amount of time they can stay on a pasture, it will depend on your climate and what grass/forage is available in that area. If possible it is best to rotate graze them, giving each pasture at least 30 days off at a time.
 

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Well they will hit the brush first, brush doesn’t worry me as much as the grass though. I kinda do what both have suggested though. I will feed them, not too much but enough they are not starving. They will stand at the feeder and eat the easy first, but then I open the gate and give them about a half hour and then put them back in. Everyday extending that time by 10ish minutes. Once I’ve hit about a hour, hour and a half I don’t worry about it any more. Now there, for me, is exceptions. We had a lot of rain last year and by the time I started to let them out the clover was halfway up to my knees. They started at 15 minutes. I also did put baking soda out for them last year. Usually it’s normal grass out there and a little clover though
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thanks everyone! I will be introducing them slowly and ensuring they are not hungry when I let them out.
My concern about how long (days, weeks, months) to keep them in one pasture is really about parasite management. How long is it reasonably safe to allow them in one 2 acre plot before I rotate to a new plot?
 

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Thanks everyone! I will be introducing them slowly and ensuring they are not hungry when I let them out.
My concern about how long (days, weeks, months) to keep them in one pasture is really about parasite management. How long is it reasonably safe to allow them in one 2 acre plot before I rotate to a new plot?
Parasite life cycle is 3 weeks, so if you rotated every 3 weeks... The problem is they don't die for months sometimes, so you probably run out of rotation paddocks before then. However, if it does allow the grass to get pretty tall again before they go back in there, that should help with parasites too, as most parasites sit in the bottom 4(?) inches of the grass.
 
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