best time to put cattle on new land

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tncattle

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I looked at a piece of land today (about 28 acres pasture) that hasn't had cattle on it in two years and is grown up with typical weeds but also has good thick standing of grasses. The forage is about 3 feet tall and then there are the typical weeds that are taller and so on. Should it be bush-hogged or just throw the cattle to it and let them do go to work?
 

c farmer

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I would put the cattle in and let them eat what they want and then bushhog what they dont eat.
 

Bez+

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tncattle":1j6uv95e said:
I looked at a piece of land today (about 28 acres pasture) that hasn't had cattle on it in two years and is grown up with typical weeds but also has good thick standing of grasses. The forage is about 3 feet tall and then there are the typical weeds that are taller and so on. Should it be bush-hogged or just throw the cattle to it and let them do go to work?

Save your money and let the cows do the work - we have done this many times and once turned 40 acres of willow into a nice pasture over the space of about four years - I used to spread about two to three pounds of various grass seeds per acre over the willows every fall and we turned that willow field into excellent pasture.

One seeder on the back of the quad and about 100 pounds of seed each year.

We fed all winter in the field as well. You folks think that hay would be wasted - but putting out 200 round bales and letting the cows eat them made for a pile of manure that was naturally spread. Plus they pounded the willows into the ground.

Never started a tractor all winter as the bales were already there and the cows lived in the snow - coldest it got was only about minus 30 and the snow got to about three feet or so in the flat areas - cows had no problem handling it. No fuel costs, no wear and tear on machinery and no pens to be cleaned. They could come up for water if they wanted but most just licked snow.

We just tiled that field last week and will put it into crops as the cows are almost all gone now - but we did not spend any real effort on that pasture prior to tiling as cows are excellent "cleaner uppers" - they eat everything including willow and most weeds and vines - which means your mineral costs will go way down - those weeds and vines provide the minerals grass does not

Put them in and let them go

Bez+
 

1982vett

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I'm for putting the cattle on, just don't put hungry cattle on, feed em good first. Full, content cows are less likely to get into something they shouldn't.
 

BeefmasterB

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tncattle":90ao0yfi said:
I looked at a piece of land today (about 28 acres pasture) that hasn't had cattle on it in two years and is grown up with typical weeds but also has good thick standing of grasses. The forage is about 3 feet tall and then there are the typical weeds that are taller and so on. Should it be bush-hogged or just throw the cattle to it and let them do go to work?


Depends on what you want to do with it. If it's just going to be pasture you can do as suggested and let the cows eat whatever grass there is plus the garbage vegetation. If they get hungry enough they'll eat just about anything. Even the poisonous stuff. :help: Or, you could opt to turn it into a rotational grazing pasture by cross fencing, identifying any good grasses and improving them while getting rid of any unwanted vegetation. Maybe even get some hay out of it. It comes down to how much time and money you have to make any improvements. And, of course, how feed efficient your cattle already are and how healthy you want them to be etc. Money spent in improvements can often save you a ton of bucks down the road :nod: .
 
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tncattle

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That is my concern that they will eat stuff they shouldn't and since money will be invested in the cattle I don't want them killing themselves. But most everyone says just let em go at it.
 

BeefmasterB

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tncattle":vss3nr30 said:
That is my concern that they will eat stuff they shouldn't and since money will be invested in the cattle I don't want them killing themselves. But most everyone says just let em go at it.

It still depends on what your goals are for your cattle and the land. If you want to let them go at it but are worried about anything harmful, you could always take a sample of every type of vegetation that is present, run it over to your local ag rep and have him/her identify anything harmful and then just get rid of those.
 

bigbull338

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you can turn the cattle in on that pasture.but make sure they have full bellies.because a new pasture can an will give them a bad case of the squirts.id keep hay out for them till they get used to the pasture.
 

farmwriter

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The Lord gave animals a fair amount of sense about what to eat and what to avoid if we don't put things in front of them that are just plain stupid. As other posters stated, as long as cattle aren't starved, they'll typically steer clear of vegetation they shouldn't eat.
 

dun

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If the grass seeds are at the shatter/scatter stage I would clip it a foot -18 inches high before turning them in. No sense in inviting pink eye from festery seeds in the eyes.
 

novatech

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dun":l81ks2ky said:
If the grass seeds are at the shatter/scatter stage I would clip it a foot -18 inches high before turning them in. No sense in inviting pink eye from festery seeds in the eyes.
I agree with this. Secondly the old grass will be fairly unpalatable. Knocking it down a bit will inspire the grass to grow making it much more palatable. There are weeds that cattle will not eat once they have matured. A lot of these weeds cattle love to eat after they have been mowed and regenerate new growth. After the cattle have grazed the pasture for a while you may find areas that cattle do not graze because of the overabundance of weeds they will not touch. Spot treat these areas with herbicide.
You did not say if you are leasing the property or buying. It will make a difference in how much you can afford to invest and the advice given on the boards.
 

lakeportfarms

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We had an almost identical situation last year. A apple orchard that had been untouched for 15 years. We couldn't walk from one end to the other with multi-flora roses, wild blackberry, grass and weeks. Today, it's all gone and the property looks like we mow it every week, except for the thistle. We have a 5 foot browse line and if we duck can actually see more than 100 feet now.

Make sure they are well fed to start so they don't inadvertently eat something poison, and if it's not too difficult to set up some temporary cross fencing I'd keep them in a section until they mow it down short, or else they'll skip some weeds and things that they could eat but won't because they'll just graze the good stuff. We intentionally overstocked the property to get it down more quickly, and will only now keep the easy keepers.

If the fencing is good enough some goats may help with what the cattle don't eat.
 

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