Farm Happenings at Cedar Crate Farm
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Rotating our pasture

Posted on October 13th, 2021 by Daniel Zimmerli

One of the weekly tasks we don't talk much about is rotating our poultry to new pasture. We're big proponents of pastured livestock and managed grazing and one of the big reasons for that is show in our the picture above. We still have green, lush, living plants on our land at a time when our neighbors fields are brown and dead. We're not 100% against grain farming as Dan comes from a corn and soybean farm but we do think there should be more pastureland scattered throughout our region.

So, each week our poultry moves to a new section of our pasture to get into fresh grass, clover, chicory, kale, and the other species in our mix. They also get fresh access to a new batch of bugs who have made their home in our pasture. At the same time, the pasture space that our poultry was on previously now has a chance to rest, regrow, and absorb more carbon before our poultry returns to graze again.

The process is fairly simple but it takes a bit of time. First, we pull up our electric net fencing. Then, we move our chicken and turkey coops to their new pasture space. Next, it's time to get the chickens into their new space. Lucky for us, the chickens sort of know what's happening and migrate into the new pasture on their own. They're excited for fresh pasture! There are always a half a dozen chickens who aren't with the program so we corral them into the new pasture by either catching them or chasing them into the new section. That's it! Easy!

If you've ever wondered why the eggs from our pastured poultry are almost orange, access to pasture is one of the biggest reasons why!