Winter grazing

Here is the herd eating up Costanza on February 20th. There’s a fair bit of grass here.

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It has been a mild winter: this was last grazed in early November, so we had some good regrowth through the last three and a half months. The soils here are doing well with carbon and the soil life is coming back.

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There are some weaker areas here and there, but those worms are helping us out. Most of the paddock now has good worm life.

One problem with winter is we get visits from sanglier, the French wild boar. There are a lot of holes around the place where they’ve come looking for some tasty grubs. I have to move the sods back to cover the holes and stamp them down.

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Hermano the steer says Hi.

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4 responses to “Winter grazing

  1. I didn’t know you have wild hogs in France. Do they destroy a lot of crops? Are they considered a nuisance or protected? Do you do anything special with them on your farm?
    I’ve been having a difficult time with a raccoon and my chickens lately. Whenever I watch a kid movie with the hero being a fox or other critter who steals chickens, I identify with the farmer/villian. It’s different when one has to pick up the remains of what was once a productive chicken.

  2. They call them “sanglier”. It is what Asterix and Obelix eat, if you remember your comics. I don’t know about how much crop destruction they do, but they make holes in my better pastures. Sometimes the holes are several meters across where they have found a good supply of something tasty.

    You can see these wild pig families run across the farms in the evenings. I haven’t seen one here in a while but I am finding new holes every week.

    The boar are a nuisance and not protected. I let the local chasse (the hunt) use my farm and they hunt for deer, foxes and boar. And the occasional farmed pheasant that wanders around.

    We’ve had trouble with foxes eating chickens in the past but for some reason they stopped coming here. Maybe it is Milkshake the killer barn cat who sleeps by the henhouse? But as for raccoons what would stop them? Livestock dogs?

  3. Really nice grass! Fantastic for this time of year. We keep getting hit by the polar vortex, and although it tried to green up for a few days, we’re really brown.

    An LGD should handle a raccoon. Maybe even a good farm dog.

    Do the hunters ever share any of the venison or boar with you? Or are you just happy to have them gone?

  4. Our grass goes brown in the summer, not the winter! I should take some photos of a paddock I seeded with fescue, red clover and birdsfoot trefoil. It was all green clover and trefoil in January. I’m still learning what grows when.

    Yes the hunters give us some boar or venison (or both) each year. Sometimes it is really good, sometimes it is mostly stew meat. We think it is a cool part of the local culture so we are happy to have them. On Sundays you often bump in to someone you know out in the field in camo gear.

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