Mob Grazing introduction
Sligo farmer, Clive Bright, gives a brief introduction to a low-input animal management system, which he currently, and cost-effectively, uses.
Mayo Organic Group is delighted to welcome Clive, to give an introduction to this method of animal management. We will be meeting on Thursday 21st September, at Claremorris Town Hall. Further details via Cleo, on firstname.lastname@example.org
Mob Grazing and Low-Stress Livestock Management
I manage 120 acres organically in south Sligo.
We run a herd of around 30 breeding cows (Angus, Shorthorn and Hereford) and finish about 1/3 of our calves to 100% grass fed beef which I direct sell. Another third are kept as breeding heifers and allowed to calve down, the best are kept are replacements and the others sold with calves at foot. The final third are the animals performing least well and sold at various stages to maintain cash flow into various suitable markets.
All the animals are rotated through temporary paddocks using managed intensive grazing - sometimes called holistic grazing or mob grazing. We never feed grain, our animals are exclusively grass-fed - lush pasture in summer; hay and silage in winter. We also practise low-stress livestock handling and we compost all our farm waste on a large scale.
It is a profitable low input - high output system that benefits the soil, the grass, the animals and the farmer! It works on any scale with any types of ruminants (cows, sheep, goats, deer etc.). The system can also easily incorporate mono-gastric animals too (horses, pigs and chickens). With careful management at a low stocking rate, out-wintering on standing grass with no hay or silage can be easily achieved.