Thursday, June 14, 2012

Update on the dry cow mob

The mob of dry cows is really starting to act like a mob. It took a few weeks to get them all together and get the paddock size down to a small enough size, but the last few weeks have been great. We are back to seeing stripped weeds, oak sprouts that are just sticks sticking out of the ground, musk thistle eaten, grass tromped flat and nearly every manure pile molested in some way....all great signs of a successful mob. We fertilized with a ton per acre of litter late last fall and I didn't think we got a very good response, but we have so much grass this year that we can't keep up with it. We have about 300 pairs on one side of the ranch and 400+ dry cows that we are mob grazing on the other and we still haven't even touched 2 of the 6 large pastures that make up the ranch. AND we just cut over 60,000 lbs of fescue seed off of the place. It's funny because we keep talking that we really need more cows and we are running over 100 head more than we've ever had on the ranch. The dry, open cows we purchased were rail thin coming in and are really putting on the weight. I think we'll make some money on them. We've lost a lot of grass from the drought. There are big areas of cheat where grass used to be. I'm pretty happy with the ranch overall though. I think the litter helped and I am loving the way the mob grazed pastures look. We hope to have all the cattle off of the ranch in mid-August and plan to stockpile grass all fall. I am leaning toward buying dry, open cows Dec-March and mob grazing during the winter, spring and early summer. We'll learn a lot more about the profitability of this plan after we sell our purchased cows in August.

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