pasture and woods pic

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i have a little over 10 acres of improved pasture fenced. It use to be a small hay meadow and an old garden spot where my dad raised vegatables . im wondering if there are any percausions to fencing up a wooded area about 5 acres next to it. no big timber everything except a few trees are less than 30 ft tall or so that being pine, gum and oak and a cedar or two. some of it is kinda thick with brairs is there a reason not to fence it and let cows in it too. i have heard arguments both ways. i need input thanks
im talking about area in the back ground of this picture. behind the t-post
gingercows005.jpg
 

Jogeephus

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Don't know what your understory consists of but here woods grazing will offer a lot of nutrition during certain seasons. Protein in fresh muscadine is not far from alphalfa, beauty bush and a host of others will also push the nutrition on the high side as well. Key to grazing the woods is learning what is beneficial and when. IMO, woods grazing is an overlooked assett. I'm still learning but I have found it useful many times as a safety valve. As a general rule, woods are equate to 7:1 to improved pastures. Best advice I can give is to study the understory and don't overgraze. Overgrazing will force the cattle to eat plants that might be poisonous. Cows aren't stupid but if they don't have a choice they will eat the bad stuff. I've lost one to this or possibly a snake bite - not sure. I have a friend that has a wood's herd and he picks up around $60,000 a year off this herd with zero input. Hardest thing about this operation is penning and loading them since they are a bit shy. ;-)
 

cmf1

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There won't be an oak leaf or sweet gum leaf and probably most of the others within reach of the tallest tongue out there. Mine clean them up like a landscape crew on the bottom side, and no harm done.
 

cypressfarms

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Pros to fencing it in:

Give the cattle shade
Give the cattle a place to browse when the pasture is dead
Will clear the understory/briars of the woods in time
Will give shy momas a place to calve in peace

Cons:

May harm hunting
Will give the shy momas a place to calve that you probably will be hard pressed to find


A buddy of mine of the other side of the Mississippi river swears by winter grazing in the woods. His cows stay fairly fat eating various bamboo shoots and other plants that they normally wouldn't get in a pasture
 
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gingercows029.jpg
1982vett":34r0lc89 said:
Ya need to do something.........the pasture they are in is overgrazed.
this is just one of the areas they have to grase the grass just started getting green when the picture was taken looking at them i dont think they are hungry they have a half of a bail of hay thats not been wet . they dont even get near it anymore . I just opened up a small 1 acre section that was an old garden spot with 14 in bahaia on it im runing them in 3 diffrent sections so as not to get it lower than whats in that 1st pic

i been more worry about them bloating from having too much grass to eat . if i thought they were hungry it give em grain does anyone else think they look like they are hungry
 

Jogeephus

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Well, yes. Never seen a cow that wasn't hungry. ;-) They are definitely healthy though. I think what Vette was saying is the grass in the first photo needs a rest - I got a few pastures in the same shape. About two weeks rest would make all the difference in the world. Seems like the battle we all face is trying to get the grass to get ahead of the cattle. This is where I've used the woods to my benefit. Kinda like a safety valve. In my area grazing the woods is actually good for the quail and turkey population since the cattle will help (along with burning) keep the woods clean which promotes the growth of legumes and grasses rather than allowing brush to take over. Biggest problem I have with woods grazing is the trees always fall on the fence and never away from it. I guess this could be a good thing if the Olympic Committee ever decides on having fence repair as an event. If so, I'll make a good showing for our country.
 

snickers

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we have our woods fenced in and knock on wood never a problem. we haven't had any problem ourselves but have been told if the cow's eat a wilted wild cherry leaves that could kill them.
 

novatech

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Trivia;
Someone told me way when that cattle developed from forest animals and horses came from the prairie. They gathered this from the fact that cows get up from the ground rear first, so they can continue looking for predators down low under the trees. Horses do the opposite so they can observe across the open range.
People have been grazing cattle in the woods for as long as I can remember. Never heard of one eating toxic plants and dying.
 

alacattleman

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novatech":1jcpujq2 said:
Trivia;
Someone told me way when that cattle developed from forest animals and horses came from the prairie. They gathered this from the fact that cows get up from the ground rear first, so they can continue looking for predators down low under the trees. Horses do the opposite so they can observe across the open range.
People have been grazing cattle in the woods for as long as I can remember. Never heard of one eating toxic plants and dying.
we were talking about this yesterday i alway thought its was more natural for them, plus both lay down just the opposite ..... sounds like they let the air brakes off when they exhale :cowboy:
 

TexasBred

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novatech":3oio1fk4 said:
Trivia;
Someone told me way when that cattle developed from forest animals and horses came from the prairie. They gathered this from the fact that cows get up from the ground rear first, so they can continue looking for predators down low under the trees. Horses do the opposite so they can observe across the open range.
People have been grazing cattle in the woods for as long as I can remember. Never heard of one eating toxic plants and dying.

I've seen several die from eating acorns. What about the "Loco Weed" you use to hear about? Or do they just smoke that now?? :lol2:
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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You have to "know" your woods & area. I have small areas of our woods that cattle have access to when they are in the adjoining paddock. We like them to have access to a hedgerow or section of woods for shade & fly protection.
 

Angus Cowman

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snickers":2ne13m6p said:
we have our woods fenced in and knock on wood never a problem. we haven't had any problem ourselves but have been told if the cow's eat a wilted wild cherry leaves that could kill them.
The only problem I know of with wild cherry leaves is if a limb or tree falls and is dying the wilted leaves will kill them as long as the tree is living and the leaves are green I have never seen a problem
 
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thanks yall. you have been a big help. thats in the planing stage phase 4. fencing in part of the woods in the back ground of pics. there are no chreey no baddoc just blackberry vines, honey suckle, small pines , gum trees and a few small oaks . as far as hiding from you the 4 i have right now would get in your pocket if they could . maybe when the heifers calve she might try to hide but by then she want be hard to find. they will have it pretty much cleaned up by then. there are several good trails through the wooded area too
 

Douglas

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cypressfarms":1oru48do said:
Pros to fencing it in:

Give the cattle shade
Give the cattle a place to browse when the pasture is dead
Will clear the understory/briars of the woods in time
Will give shy momas a place to calve in peace

Cons:

May harm hunting
Will give the shy momas a place to calve that you probably will be hard pressed to find


A buddy of mine of the other side of the Mississippi river swears by winter grazing in the woods. His cows stay fairly fat eating various bamboo shoots and other plants that they normally wouldn't get in a pasture

Another con is that you are not recycling nutrients on your pasture and can be wasted under the trees. What i try to do is only use the wooded area during drought and not have it accessible all the time, but that requires more fencing.
 

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