Each day consumers have questions about how their food is grown and raised – and who better to answer those questions than a farmer or rancher? Each week we’re highlighting an Anderson Live viewer question from our Facebook along with a farmer/rancher answer. Today, we are exploring “Do cattle graze pastures? How often or long do they a graze? And what is a cow's wellbeing like?”
Here’s what our farmer/rancher expert says:
Christy Davis: My family ranches in North Idaho. Our cattle spend from May through October out on grass (either range or pasture) and are given mineral supplement throughout the year to keep them healthy and at optimal reproductive state before breeding season. November through April they're gathered and put at different sites where they receive hay and some protein supplement. We are fall calvers and the calves receive grain (usually barley or oats) along with the hay to help them grow and gain weight through the winter along with their mama's milk.
We have to take good care of our cattle, whether it's nutrition, comfort or handling practices. Otherwise they're not healthy and don't produce well or provide a profit. We're proud of the animals we produce and are always looking to improve our operation.
Taylor-Made Ranch: We rotationally graze - a pasture is sub-divided into paddocks and the cattle are restricted to that area until they graze the grass down to about 3 - 4" high, then we move them into the next paddock. This allows our pastures to rest between grazing sessions resulting in a healthier pasture and more new-growth grass for our cattle when they enter a new paddock. We supplement their grazing when they're not receiving what they need from the grass such as during the heat of summer and the cold of winter.
Stay tuned for more answers on how food gets from a farm or ranch to your plate. To be part of the conversation, visit: https://www.facebook.com/USFarmersandRanchers.