Grass Fed

Just launched a kickstarter campaign to raise money to fund scientific research around the nutritional break down of fodder at various stages of growth for our book on Fodder. Please check it out!

You might have guessed that a farm named "Friendly Pastures" would include grass as the base of our success! One of our primary principles on this farm is to maintain a healthy balance between our animals and the grasses that they spend their life on. All of our animals - foul, hogs, rabbits, goats, etc. - enjoy fresh pasture daily. They are either in a tractor of some form or another and moved around each day. Or they take part in our pasture rotation schedule.

The most important part of the equation when it comes to pasture though is rest! All of our pasture enjoys a rest of 20-30 days from a specific type of animal. This helps us break the pest cycle and keeps our critters healthy and happy without needing heavy antibiotics like many of todays farming operations.

Tractoring animals

The two animals that we use tractors for the most are our chickens and rabbits.

The chickens live in a 12' x 12' x 2' enclosure and are moved at least once a day to new grass and bugs. This housing keeps the chicken nice and safe from various evil critters. It also keeps them warm and dry when mother nature would rather they not be. This style of housing creates very healthy birds.

The rabbits live in 8' x 4' x 2' enclosures. They have all the same luxuries as the chickens do. However added precautions must be taken since rabbits love to dig. Unlike the chickens, when a rabbit gets out, it is very hard to re-capture it! For this reason the rabbit tractor has to have additional wire to keep the floor enclosed too.

From the blog

Managed intensive rotational grazing

The rest of our animals take part in our managed intensive rotational grazing program. In our system we use 1/2 acre paddocks with small herds. Every 7-10 days we move our herds from one paddock to the next. This allows each pasture to get some rest from a given type of animal. In addition to moving animals there is also a period of time where each pasture doesn't have any animals on it at all. A full rest from all grazing activities. This ensures that the pasture isn't over grazed for a given plant species. It also helps to break the pest cycle for each type of animal.