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Pastures for Horses

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A grass-legume pasture can produce enough to meet the maintenance requirements ... Orchard grass. If managed, is as palatable and nutritious as bluegrass ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Pastures for Horses


1
Pastures for Horses
  • 2000 Horse Seminar
  • Wautoma, Jan. 15
  • Marshfield, Jan. 22

Craig Saxe UW-Extension, Juneau Co. 211 Hickory
Street Mauston WI 53948 (608) 847-9329 E-mail
craig.saxe_at_ces.uwex.edu
2
Pastures for Horses
2000 Horse Seminar Wautoma, Jan. 15 Marshfield,
Jan. 22
Craig Saxe Juneau Co., UW-Ext. 211 Hickory
Street Mauston WI 53948 (608) 847-9329
3
Grazing Formula
  • Sunlight Rain Green Plants Plant Growth
  • Plant Growth Grazing Animals
  • The Grazing formula involves
  • Whats best for the grass
  • Whats best for the livestock
  • What moves you toward your goals!!!

4
Traditional Pastures are often Continuously
Grazed
  • This usually means
  • Lower yields
  • Serious weed pressure
  • Erosion problems
  • General poor management

5
In Rotational Grazing...
  • Pastures are subdivided into smaller areas (or
    paddocks)
  • A portion of the pasture is grazed while the
    remainder Rests
  • Paddocks are allowed to
  • Renew energy reserves
  • Rebuild plant vigor
  • Improve long-term production

6
Intensive Rotational Grazing...
  • Involves a higher level of management
  • Greater paddock numbers
  • Shorter grazing periods
  • Longer rest periods

7
Traditional Pasture
8
Rotational Grazed Paddocks
Corral
9
Intensive Rotational Grazing
Corral
10
Exercise Paddock
11
Monthly forage production in 2-acre grass and
grass-legume pastures
animal need
Grass Pasture
Grass-Legume Pasture
12
Forage Growth Curve
Quality
Yield
Best time to graze
13
Seasonal growth patterns in forages
14
The Rest Period
  • Should vary according to plant growth
  • In general, must increase as growth rate slows
  • Relates closely to seasonal forage growth
  • Need to rotate between paddocks every 3-6 days

15
Relationship of rest period to pasture mass
during periods of rapid vs. slow growth
Lbs. DM / acre
Optimum Rest Period
0 5 10 15
20 25
Period of fast plant growth (days)
0 10 20 30
40 50
Period of slow plant growth (days)
16
Stocking Rate (animals/acre)
  • Can use formulas for actual numbers
  • Thumb rule one 1000 pound horse per 2-4 acres
  • Intensive Rotational Grazing one mature,
    non-producing horse to 1-1.5 acres
  • Traditional Under-managed pastures one
    horse to 5-10 acres

17
Consider the New Fencing Technology
18
Useful Life of Fencing Materials
19
Horses Pasture
  • A grass-legume pasture can produce enough to meet
    the maintenance requirements of most adult horses
  • In general, horses are more destructive to
    pasture than cattle
  • Horses are natural nibblers

20
Horses Pasture
  • A Pennsylvania study showed horses preferred
  • Grasses over legumes
  • Bluegrass over taller grasses
  • Clovers over alfalfa and birdsfoot trefoil

The study also showed that horses made
satisfactory progress on all pasture mixtures
21
If at all possible graze cattle with horses
  • Because
  • It reduces parasitic infestation
  • Each will eat around the others droppings
  • It assures more uniform use of the pasture
  • Cattle will graze otherwise wasted feed

22
Diet Selection of Livestock
a A mixture of grass and legumes b Woody material
23
Pasture Types
  • Kentucky bluegrass
  • Very palatable and nutritious
  • Will withstand close grazing
  • Produces high-quality turf
  • Produces less forage per acre then other grasses
  • Grows slow during hot dry weather

24
Pasture Types
  • Orchard grass
  • If managed, is as palatable and nutritious as
    bluegrass
  • Will withstand closer grazing than other tall
    grasses
  • Produces more forage per acre then bluegrass

25
Pasture Types
  • Legumes
  • Any legume that is adapted to your area can be
    used successfully
  • Are higher in protein
  • Grow when grasses are going dormant
  • Nitrogen fixing capacity reduces fertilizer costs

Some suggest using only one grass and one or two
legumes in a mixture
26
Grazing Management Tips
  • For rotational grazing to be successful you must
    be flexible
  • If you dont want to make hay during periods of
    rapid forage growth, move animals faster
  • Provide free choice salt minerals

27
Grazing Management Tips
  • Avoid over or under grazing
  • Clip pastures regularly during the growing season
  • Drag pastures with a chain link harrow at least
    once per year
  • Apply fertilizer as needed (take a soil test)
  • Re-seed pastures if necessary

28
(No Transcript)
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