Rotational Grazing for Horse Farms
If you are considering purchasing horse farms for sale in Florida for the purpose of boarding and breeding horses, you will need to consider how you will manage pastures to ensure optimum feeding. A good rule of thumb is one acre per horse because smaller acreage can easily lead to overgrazing. Overgrazing is a sign of poor pasture management, but there is a solution for this—rotational grazing.
What is Rotational Grazing?
Without proper pasture management, pastures will have a lower quantity of grass that is also lacking in quality. Poor pasture management also leads to weed growth, soil erosion, and increased feed costs. Rotational grazing is the practice of moving horses from pasture to pasture. With rotational grazing, pastures are subdivided by fencing to allow forage the opportunity to regrow after grazing. This will ensure that horses feed off of pasture that has had a resting period.
Why Grazing is Valuable
Grazing is valuable because horses need to feed between 1.5 to 2.5 percent of their body weight per day. Since horses will naturally graze areas they spend much of their time in, they need to be encouraged to feed in other areas. By rotating horses, you will lessen compaction and the weakening of forage plants. This also prevents horses from overgrazing areas they naturally find more palatable.
Tips for Successful Grazing
In order to implement rotational grazing, you must understand and watch grazing patterns. You must also avoid allowing horses to graze on pasture that is less than three inches. Once pastures are that low, you can move horses to areas where the pasture is six inches or more. Each pasture should have its own water source and adequate shade. Another key to successful grazing is the type of fencing you install. Use temporary electric fencing to divide pastures for rotational grazing. You can also install gating meant to “turn out” horses back and forth between stall and pasture.