Art Batts

0 thoughts on “Art Batts

  1. This was an excellent article. I read in the small farmers journal if we compost for every 6 in of compost we put in our fields and gardens that is converted into one inch of topsoil. My grandparents used to form with mules. Even though we have a tractor we are in the process of getting back to using draft horses as that is less compaction and better for our soul so it can do its job efficiently. Thank you so very much for this post it’s very very good.

  2. Living in North Dakota, I’m very familiar with winter feeding and the scientists who did this research. I hope your readers will consider that this article only considers cow performance and doesn’t discuss the environmental impact. Cows fed from feeders may waste less hay, but they also concentrate the urine and feces and severely compact soil when fed in a concentrated manner. Perhaps you consider the feeding area “sacrificial” in terms of soil quality and if so, that’s fine. Most livestock operations have places like that, because we need to gather and feed in close proximity at certain times of the year. You have to make sure you have plenty of feeder space for the amount of livestock or some will be pushed out.

    One of the benefits of rolling out a hay bale is to be able to feed in a pasture or on a field. If the ground is frozen – as it is most of the time we feed hay in North Dakota – compaction is minimal. Leftover hay isn’t completely wasted as the livestock will utilize it for bedding and anything else left becomes fertilizer for the soil. Additionally, the urine and feces are spread over a large area and provide fertilizer for the coming year. The microbes in the urine and feces provide important boosts to soil fertility that you can’t get from commercial fertilizer. Rolling out bales allows the entire herd to eat an at time so even those animals on the bottom of the pecking order are well-fed. If you vary placement and rollout of the bales, you can spread the benefits. Plus it makes sure those pregnant animals exercise a bit which they can be reluctant to do in late gestation, but it’s very important to calving ease.

    Since this blog is about holistic farming methods, I hope your readers take into account the entire scope of winter feeding. Certainly during blizzards we may want the livestock close to the homestead, but as a general rule, spreading out livestock for feeding has many side benefits.

  3. Growing up in England we ate lamb most Sundays. Here in North Carolina it’s very rare to find a grocery store that has lamb, and when they do the price is so astronomical!

  4. That was a great article. Thank you we experienced our first prolapse this year. Thank you

  5. Hello, I recently read your story in South Stevens County Times. I read that you offer classes, and wanted to inquire about that. We relocated to Springdale 2 years ago. I have 2 Nigerian Dwarf Goats that I would like to learn how to breed and produce milk, cheese, soap etc. from our farm. Is this a class you currently offer? Looking forward to hearing from you! Misty

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