Jacob Levin wrote:... lastly, if there are species of trees you've noticed your cows enjoying. i recently learned from osker brown that basswood and mulberry leaves are extremely nutrient rich, with mulberry leaves containing as much as 20% protein. What other trees would you recommend establishing on the edge of pastures?
Some of the fields are becoming overrun with weeds and produce poorer quality hay/forage each year.
Our long term plan for the farm is to move away from cattle and into vegetables, fruits and nuts. Perhaps after reading your book we will do both
I have about 6 acres that used to be a cow pasture but has been left uncut, wild for probably 4 years.
Trees at the pasture edge
Yes, cattle do seek out certain plants to "self-medicate". However it is not a reliable alternative for intervening by calling a vet when an animal is sick. And sometimes they will seek out plants that are poisonous and will die just because they are looking for a certain smell or taste while sick. Unfortunately I am not a specialist on what plants to add to the mix for general preventative measures like worm control and so on - Be careful what you plant - know exactly what you are getting into before introducing any medicinal plants into the pasture mix.
Self medicating cattle
Regarding the aggressive route of restoration with discing, subsoiler, reseeding would you recommend doing this in the spring or fall?
If you do decide to reseed a pasture how long would you keep animals off that certain area?