If you want this...
Then, do this!
No hard, fast rules; no cook book. But these thoughts have served us well:
1. Remember we are managing chaos, a favorite saying of Ian Mitchell-Innes.
2. Manage for what you want, not against what you don’t want.
Rational Thought: It is much better to work with life than to go to war against it.
3. The life in and on the soil is more important than the life above the soil.
Rational Thought: Take care of the biology and the biology will take care of the plants, the livestock and you.
4. The more forage you leave behind, the more will be there when you return.
Rational Thought: The larger solar collector, the more energy you can store.
5. The less fuel and iron we put between the livestock and the sun, the more profitable we will be.
Rational Thought: Stay out of natures way.
Keep the above principals in mind in all you do relating to the soil and the care of livestock.
Most in agriculture feel this type of grazing is new, it is not. The following describes what we do more eloquently and correctly than I can:
The basic principles of short duration grazing were recorded as early as 1777 by James Anderson, a Scotsman who wrote:
“. . .As every kind of animal delights most to feed upon fresh plants that have newly sprung up from a bare surface, in which there is no decayed or rotted stalks of any kind; there can be little doubt but that, if cattle that are intended to be fatted were always supplied with a constant succession of this kind of food, they would be brought forward in flesh as quickly as nature of that food could in any case do it. To obtain this constant supply of fresh grass, let us suppose that a farmer who has any extent of pasture ground should have it divided into fifteen or twenty divisions, nearly of equal value, and that, instead of allowing his beasts to roam indiscriminately through the whole area at once, he collects the whole number of beasts that he intends to feed into one flock, and turns them all into one of these divisions; which, being quite fresh, and of sufficient length for a fullbite, would please their palate so much as to induce them to eat it greedily, and fill their bellies before they thought to roam about and thus destroying it with their feet. And if the number of beasts were so great as to consume the best part of the grass of one of these inclosures in one day, they might be allowed to remain there no longer; giving them a fresh park every morning, so as that the same delicious repast might be again repeated. And if there were just so many parks as they required days to make the grass of these fields advance to proper length after being eaten fare down, the first field would be ready to receive them by the time they had gone over all the other; so that they might thus be carried around in a constant rotation . . .” -(from Voisin 1959)
Rational grazing is what we do, come to our one-day school and we will show you how we do it. Why you do it, is up to you.