Tales about Aviation, Coaching, Farming, Software Development

Think like a cow: pasture

Now that I am officially a cattleman it is time to look at the world with the eyes of a cow.

So what’s a cow to think about the world? Food… Pasture… Fruits… and water of course.

In this post I want to focus on the pasture that is left from the earlier uses of it. To start with here is a picture from the time we did the land survey. In the center of the image you can see a white object. That’s the antenna dome on the top of the pole the surveyer carries. It is taller than a man. Sure the terrain is low there too but still you can clearly see how tall the grass is. There is a whole section of this type of pasture at the higher grounds of the farm. The elevation there is about 500m.

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The next image shows the view from that place backwards. Down there and around the corner to the left is where the rancho is located. Takes about an hour on horseback to get there. The trunks of dead trees were Nispero (bulletwood) trees. They are left from the time the former user of the place burned the forest to make room for pasture. Well … He did a thorough job. There are hardly any trees left.

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On the other side the pasture extends to where a huge stretch of still virgin forest begins. This is the second part of the farm. It has been estimated at 160 hectareas but based on the experience from the real land survey with GPS I feel that it might turn out to be 200 hectareas. We don’t intent to do any damage to this forest at all. It helps us to have water all year around and feeds the river.

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Elsewhere the grass grows quite high. I’m not really sure about the nutritial value of that particular grass. I think it has invaded and destroyed the real pasture that was there before. The horse still grab a bite. We’ll have to see what the cattle thinks. In the end we have to create many small segments and let the cattle feed in a controlled fashion. The former user had very large division but that causes the cattle to feed here and there a bit roaming large areas. We want to feed intensively in one area and then move on the next. That way we can control better what they feed on and hopefully achieve our performance goals.

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Before it all started to grow over this large area had certainly beautiful pasture. Needs some cleanup and cattle starting to graze there.

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We are preparing to buy more cattle in the coming weeks to have a first herd of about 20 animals at the farm. The pictures in this post show mostly areas located at higher elevations than the areas close to the entrance and the rancho. Pasture close to the rancho is in better shape than further away so we going to start there building some additional fences and prepare it for the arrival of more animals.