pasture planting question

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by SofiaP, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. SofiaP

    SofiaP New Member

    May 28, 2017
    we've had goats for just a few years and their "pasture" was lawn before so there's really not any browse... we do provide occasional browse, hay, etc...

    My question is about trying to improve the pasture. It's becoming full of buttercups and I've read that spreading lime can help change the pH and encourage grass growth (we have sheep too).. should I just do that? or should we try to plant some seed? and if we plant seed do we need to till and then plant? keep animals off?

    I'm so lost and would appreciate help!
  2. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Seeding in spring and fall can help. Don't need to till.

  3. fivemoremiles

    fivemoremiles Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    western montana
    If you do not give your grass a chance to recover you will never have good pasture.
    divide your pasture up so it can grow. I have sheep and before i divided the place up i never had good grass. by dividing my place up i have been able to increace my sheep herd from 200 head to 300 head of ewes. I am thinking i will need to add another 100 ewes just to keep up with the grass.
    Another thing i have seen by dividing the pasture is the bumble bees are back the turtles and frogs are back. and birds are every where.
    From my experience i find the pastures need at least 21 days rest.
    toth boer goats likes this.
  4. greif

    greif Member

    Nov 3, 2007
    kaukauna, WI
    What are good choices to plant?
  5. fivemoremiles

    fivemoremiles Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    western montana
    What do your goats eat.
    I would not plant grass
    I would plant perennial forbs and fast growing shrubbery
    I dont know where you live but here i have fallen in love with Cicer milk vetch. It spreads by seed and ryzones. It likes to be grazed. It will not cause bloat. It has similar nutritional to alfalfa.
    Seed is expensive $11.00 a pound it can be hard to get started. Has poor germination % if you just plant it.
    The seed needs to be scord to germinate. To score the seed i have found that your goats intestinal tract is the best.
    Think about it the seed is dropped on the ground in a moist fertilized bundle.
    All you need to do is put unscord seed in there grain and let them plant them.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
    Nigerian dwarf goat likes this.
  6. fivemoremiles

    fivemoremiles Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    western montana
    I have 120 acers devided in to 4 acer paddocks in my rotation. lI would love to plant them all now in cicer milk vetch. but that would cost me over $13,000.00. i can not do that. so what i have done is to plant one paddock in Cicer $440.00. I am letting it go to seed every year before i turn my herd in to the paddock. I move the herd the next day to a paddock that i want planted in cycer and let the herd eat the paddock down well giving the Cycer seed time to pass through the herds intestinal tract before i move them. When i started i thought it would take me years to get the ranch in Cycer but i forgot that the paddocks that the herd plants will produce seed too. instead of taking 10 years it will be less than 5.
    ksalvagno likes this.
  7. Rockland Ridge Ranch

    Rockland Ridge Ranch New Member

    Aug 6, 2020
    Upper Midwest
    Sounds like you need to renovate the pasture, and then use rotational grazing to manage it afterwards. First you need to send in a soil sample to a soil testing lab to find out how acidic your soil is and if you are missing nutrients. Your county extension agent can help you do that and also help you figure out the best way to eradicate the butter cups. Then I would either till up the pasture and start from scratch with a good pasture seed mix (grass and legumes like clover or alfalfa), or you can also overseed with a seed mix. The key to seeding will be doing a soil test first, though, so you aren't just throwing money away on seed that wont germinate well due to poor soil conditions.